United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is slated to visit war-torn Ukraine and meet President Volodymyr Zelensky next week after he stops at Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The UN released a statement on Guterres’ schedule, saying that the 72-year-old would meet Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Zelensky on Thursday, April 28, two days after he meets Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for a “working meeting and lunch” to discuss the ongoing war in Ukraine.
“He will also meet with staff of UN agencies to discuss the scaling up of humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine,” the UN statement further said.
The Sec-Gen’s trip to Ukraine will be his first meeting with Zelensky since the Russian invasion began on February 24: the 72-year-old had spoken with the Ukrainian President once earlier, by telephone, on March 26.
News of Guterres’ scheduled meeting with Zelensky comes hours after the UN announced the Sec-Gen’s meeting with Putin.
The Russian President reportedly has had no contact with the UN or its Sec-Gen, ever since Guterres declared that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine violated the UN charter. Given this friction, it remains to be seen what comes of the meeting between the two leaders this coming week.
Earlier this week, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric had hinted at new efforts by the Sec-Gen to try bring both parties to the negotiating table.
“At this time of great peril and consequence, he would like to discuss urgent steps to bring about peace in Ukraine,” Barron’s quoted Dujarric as saying earlier in the week.