Russia says UN is lying
Russia’s foreign ministry has denied that the UN Secretary General has tried to contact Russian President Vladimir Putin, in recent times, contrary to a statement made by Antonio Guterres’ spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric.
On Tuesday, the spokesman for the foreign ministry in Moscow, Maria Zakharova, published a post in her Telegram channel, citing reports, according to which Dujarric replied in the affirmative when asked if his boss had tried to contact the Russian president following the start of the Kremlin’s military offensive against Ukraine in late February. Zakharova went on to deny that there have been any attempts at communication on the part of Guterres.
“A short comment: no. The UN secretary general has not tried to get in touch with the Russian president,” Zakharova insisted. She added that “no one has made such overtures, either to Russia’s permanent mission to the UN or directly to the foreign ministry.”
Zakharova urged the “representatives of the UN Secretariat to return to reality.”
Last Wednesday, Guterres told reporters that while “at the present moment a global ceasefire in Ukraine doesn’t seem possible,” his office had proposed to Russia to “bring the parties together and to manage” the evacuation of civilians from the areas of Ukraine worst affected by fighting. He added that the UN was waiting for Moscow’s response.
On March 22, the UN secretary general denounced Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine as an “absurd war,” that was putting people there through a “living hell.” He added that “continuing the war in Ukraine is morally unacceptable, politically indefensible, and militarily nonsensical.”
In early April, Guterres called for an independent investigation of the mass killings committed in the town of Bucha. Ukraine accuses Russian forces of committing the atrocities, while Moscow insists the harrowing scenes were staged by Kiev authorities to frame Russia, and possibly force European nations to step up pressure on the Kremlin.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.