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UN: Russia agrees to Red Cross participation in civilian evacuation from Azofastal

According to a statement from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, the Russian president agreed to involve the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross in evacuating citizens from the Azov Stal plant in Mariupol.

UN envoy Stephen Dujarric said in a statement that Guterres reiterated the UN position on Ukraine and that the two sides discussed humanitarian aid proposals and the evacuation of civilians from the conflict zones.

He added that further talks between the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Russian Ministry of Defense will take place in the coming days.

According to IRNA, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a joint news conference with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Moscow: “We have managed to make serious progress in Istanbul because our Ukrainian counterparts are concerned with Ukraine’s security requirements and international security guarantees.” Because the internationally accepted borders of Ukraine were not connected, but unfortunately, after reaching an agreement and accepting the continuation of the negotiations, we encountered provocative actions in Bucha that have nothing to do with the Russian army.

“We want a ceasefire,” UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said on Monday about the purpose of his visit to Russia and Ukraine and his meeting with the two presidents. The Secretary-General will try to discuss the ceasefire in the East and Mariupol with Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelinsky.

“We are at a critical juncture,” the UN official said. The ultimate goal of this trip will be to stop the war and improve the situation of the Ukrainian people, reduce the threats against them and provide them with humanitarian assistance.

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Although the UN Secretary-General has made various comments on the crisis since the start of the Ukraine war, his actions in this regard, like those of other international events, have been widely criticized.

Following criticism of the UN mediation role in the war, Guttierez is said to have written to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelinsky on April 30, asking him to meet with them.

On February 21, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in the Donbas region, criticizing the West’s indifference to Moscow’s security concerns.

Three days later, on Thursday, March 26, Putin launched a so-called “special operation” against Ukraine, turning tense Moscow-Kiev relations into a military confrontation. The conflict in Ukraine and the reaction to Russia’s action continue.

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