Guterres, who describes himself as “an envoy of the world”, called for an investigation into potential war crimes, no matter who committed them.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres
Photo: Swimming pool, Reuters
“We must not forget that we are talking about a very serious conflict, which unfortunately is still far from being resolved,” Lavrov said at the start of the press conference.
Russia’s head of diplomacy praised the negotiations with Guteress, and it was clear from her words that this was not a confrontational meeting.
“We have an interest in working with our colleagues at the United Nations, the International Red Cross … to alleviate the suffering and situation of the civilian population”
– BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) 26 April 2022
“We are very grateful to the Secretary-General and his team for understanding the need to look at the situation in and around Ukraine in the broad context of all the accumulating tendencies and away from the UN ideals enshrined in the UN Charter.” Lavrov said.
He repeated Russia’s rhetoric that he had invaded his country in response to the expanding sphere of influence of NATO and the United States, which he said had decided to build a “unipolar world” to hold Russia back from development. As usual, he cited several propaganda reasons for the invasion, such as the alleged suppression of Russian culture or support for Nazism.
Ahead of the next Guteress, she noted that the UN was well aware of the reasons for the so-called “special operations”.
“This goal is to protect the civilian population, and we are interested in working with colleagues from the United Nations and colleagues from the International Red Cross for further efforts to reduce the suffering of the civilian population,” Lavrov said.
The UN-Russia working group is reportedly working intensively in Moscow. “UN officials agree on certain things that help deliver humanitarian aid safely,” Lavrov said.
I am the messenger of the world, said Guterres
In part of her press conference, Guteress explained her reasons for traveling to Moscow, which made many politicians and Western pundits shake their heads.
“As the Secretary-General of the United Nations, I have come to Moscow as an envoy of the world. My task is exclusively to save lives and reduce the suffering of civilians,” he said.
“It is quite clear that there are different views on events in Ukraine,” Guterres said, adding that, according to the United Nations, this was a violation of the territorial integrity of a sovereign state and the United Nations Charter. He called for dialogue and the evacuation of civilians from occupied Mariupol. According to him, the United Nations is ready to use all its strength.
UN Secretary General Guterres has given Putin what he wants with comments such as “I understand that the Russian Federation has a lot of complaints” during his press conference in Moscow with Lavrov.
– Wilfred Frost (@WilfredFrost) 26 April 2022
“I am concerned about the constant reports of potential war crimes. They need to be properly investigated so that those who are to blame are punished properly,” he said, without elaborating on what Russia was referring to.
Guterres said he understood Russia felt “a lot of wrong” but “one thing is true and clear and no argument can change that.”
“There are no Ukrainian soldiers on the territory of the Russian Federation, but there are Russian troops on the territory of the Ukrainian Federation (sic),” said the Secretary-General.
“Unapologetic social media guru. General reader. Incurable pop culture specialist.”