Lavrov Regrets UN Missed Opportunity to Reach Political Solution on Ukraine
09:39 GMT 11.05.2022 (Updated: 10:47 GMT 11.05.2022)
© Sputnik / Russian Defence MinistryRussian servicemen are pictured by military equipment captured by Russian troops during Russia's military operation in Ukraine, near the village of Huta-Mezhyhirska, in Ukraine. Ten Javelin American-made portable anti-tank missile systems, grenade launchers, man-portable air-defense systems were discovered at a base that was taken under control of the Russian Armed Forces
© Sputnik / Russian Defence Ministry
According to the Russian foreign minister, the United Nations should urge Kiev to stop preventing the evacuation of civilians from the zone of Russia’s special military operation.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that he regrets that the UN has missed the opportunity to reach a political solution on the Ukraine crisis.
"To my great regret, the secretariat of this organisation, including its secretary-general, missed the opportunity to achieve a political settlement when for seven long years they did not react in any way to the open, outright sabotage by the Kiev regime of Security Council Resolution 2202, which approved the Minsk Agreements on the settlement in Eastern Ukraine".
The top Russian diplomat made his statement during a joint press conference with his Omani counterpart Sayyid Badr Albusaidi in Muscat.
Lavrov stressed that the UN should call on the Kiev authorities to stop preventing the evacuation of civilians from the zone of the military operation in Ukraine.
"Taking into account the interest shown by [UN Secretary-General] Antonio Guterres, we advised him first of all to turn his appeals to the Kiev authorities, to demand that they stop preventing civilians from leaving the areas of the military operation", Lavrov said.
He added that a UN representative "is currently on the ground" and is "trying to help in solving the issues we have raised".
On 26 April, UN chief Antonio Guterres visited Moscow and had talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Guterres said the crisis in Ukraine was his main concern, adding that he had arrived with a pragmatic position and with the intention to first of all assist in solving humanitarian issues in the conflict zone. The secretary-general confirmed that the UN was ready to work with the Russian and Ukrainian militaries, as well as with the Red Cross, to evacuate civilians from the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol, where the last remaining stronghold of Ukrainian neo-Nazis remains.
When he was asked about the prospect of a war in Europe, Lavrov reiterated that Russia is not seeking a war.
"If you are concerned about the prospect of a war in Europe, we absolutely do not want this, but I draw your attention to the fact that it is the West that constantly insists that Russia must be defeated in this situation", Lavrov told reporters in Muscat.
In a separate development, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres held a press conference following his meeting with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen on Wednesday. Speaking about the Ukraine crisis, Guterres said that the possibility of concluding peace or a general truce in Ukraine is not currently visible.
Russia and Ukraine have held several rounds of negotiations in the past two months, trying to hammer out an agreement that would result in a peaceful solution to the crisis. However, after some progress appeared to have been made during a Turkey-mediated meeting between Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Istanbul, Kiev suddenly backtracked on the previously agreed points, and the negotiations were stalled.