Home Foreign Affairs After Moscow, the UN Secretary-General Guterres also visits Kyiv

After Moscow, the UN Secretary-General Guterres also visits Kyiv

Former high-ranking UN employees are increasing the pressure on Secretary-General Guterres: in a letter, they are calling on him to do more to help find a political solution to the Ukraine war. It is now known that he will visit the capitals of both warring factions.

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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks to the press about the current situation in Ukraine at the United Nations Headquarters on April 19,2022 in New York City, USA. The Secretary General called for an immediate cease fire during the Holy Week and the opening of humanitarian pathways to freedom for Ukrainians. The impetus for the ceasefire stemmed from Monday Russian offensive along most of the eastern border of Ukraine. (Photo by John Lamparski/NurPhoto)

Around two months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will visit Russia and Ukraine next week. After reception by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday in Moscow, Guterres will travel to Ukraine and meet President Volodymyr Zelenskyy there on Thursday, according to the United Nations in New York.

Working meetings with the two foreign ministers Sergei Lavrov and Dmytro Kuleba are also planned. The UN chief had previously asked for the meetings to mediate in the struggle for a ceasefire in the conflict.

Earlier, Guterres had sent letters to the UN missions of Russia and Ukraine, asking to meet him in the countries’ capitals. “Urgent steps” must be taken to establish peace in Ukraine. The UN chief has recently called for a ceasefire in the Ukraine war. There was initially no information as to whether Guterres was only traveling to Kyiv or to other parts of the country.

UN sees more signs of war crimes

The United Nations initially did not want to portray the Secretary-General’s initiative as an official attempt at mediation. However, he followed growing calls from the UN apparatus for Guterres to play a more active role in the conflict. Most recently, a letter from former high-ranking UN employees increased the pressure. They called on Guterres to work harder on a political solution and see the United Nations’ raison d’être at risk.

The trip to Moscow is likely to be one of the most important of Guterres’ time as UN Secretary-General. UN sees more signs of war crimes in Ukraine. Satellite images indicated a possible mass grave in the area around Mariupol.