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UN chief to meet with Putin in Moscow, wants ‘to bring peace to Ukraine urgently’

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is heading to Moscow next week to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a rare visit of a key foreign figure to the Kremlin during its invasion of Ukraine. 

The U.N. chief’s spokesperson also told Reuters that Guterres will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. 

“He hopes to talk about what can be done to bring peace to Ukraine urgently,” Reuters quoted the spokesperson as saying. 

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks to the media at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on March 14.
(REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo)

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Russia began the war in Ukraine on Feb. 24, and on April 11, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer became the first leader from a European Union country to visit Moscow during the conflict. 

Guterres is also trying to arrange a visit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting on the current situation in Russia's iron and steel industry via videoconference in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting on the current situation in Russia’s iron and steel industry via videoconference in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday.
(AP/Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo)

 

On Tuesday, he called for a four-day Orthodox Easter pause in the fighting, starting Thursday. 

“The secretary-general is not so much disappointed that his own personal call was not heeded, but more that there has been no truce, that civilians cannot leave besieged areas and that the aid that the U.N. and our partners are ready to deliver to these besieged areas cannot go in,” his spokesperson told Reuters. 

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