UN chief Guterres plans to visit Ukraine after Moscow stopover


United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will visit President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Ukraine next week after his peace-building talks with Moscow.

Guterres will meet Zelenskyy and Ukraine’s foreign minister on Thursday, two days after his visit to Moscow, the United Nations said in a statement.

The Kremlin confirmed on Friday that Putin would meet António Guterres on Tuesday.

Guterres sent letters this week requesting those face-to-face meetings to try to reclaim the initiative from the UN, which has been largely sidelined in the crisis since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

This is partly because the war has divided the permanent members of the UN Security Council: the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia.

China has refused to condemn the invasion, portraying Russia as a victim of Western efforts to weaken it.

With the letters he sent on Tuesday, Guterres sought to spur dialogue to end the war.

“At this time of great peril and consequences, he would like to discuss urgent measures to bring peace to Ukraine,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said this week.

Guterres has had little contact with Zelenskyy since the start of the war, speaking to him only once on the phone, on March 26.

Putin has not taken Guterres’ phone calls or had contact with him since the UN chief said the invasion violated the UN charter.

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