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UN calls for immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine

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UN calls for immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has once again called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine.

He said in New York on Monday that the ceasefire would allow the delivery of life-saving aid as well as the evacuation of people in the country.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Guterres made the appeal after Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian cities.

Hardest hit are Lviv, Dnipro, Kharkiv and Mykolaiv, resulting in heavy civilian casualties and destruction.

“Guterres is also very concerned about the dire humanitarian situation in the besieged port city of Mariupol,” Dujarric told reporters at the UN. campus.

“The Secretary-General strongly urges all parties to enact an urgent and immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

“This will allow the safe and secure operation of the humanitarian corridors; help evacuate civilian residents and also provide life-saving humanitarian and medical assistance,” he said.

He stressed that genuine negotiations must have a chance to succeed and bring lasting peace, noting that the UN stands ready to support such efforts.

Before the briefing, UN relief chief Martin Griffiths told reporters that while humanitarian ceasefires in Ukraine “were not on the horizon right now, they could be in a couple of weeks.”

Griffiths reported on his visits to Russia and Ukraine earlier this month, where he held talks with top officials about the UN’s “aspirations” for humanitarian pauses.

He also discussed how to improve the notification system that allowed the safe passage of humanitarian workers and supplies.

“Obviously, we have not yet achieved a humanitarian ceasefire on the Russian side.

“I went into a lot of detail on this, and they continue to promise to get back to me on the details of those proposals,” he said.

Griffiths will travel to Turkey this week to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about holding humanitarian talks between Russia and Ukraine.

On Sunday, the Secretary-General spoke with President Erdoğan and expressed his continued support for the Istanbul process related to the war in Ukraine.

He also underlined the need for humanitarian corridors for aid distribution and evacuations.

When asked about Turkey’s role, Griffiths said he was impressed by the way the country had presented itself to both sides as a “truly valuable and helpful host” for the talks.

“In terms of classical mediation, there is not really a mediation between the Russians and the Ukrainians,” he said, adding, “I think the Turks are the closest to it out of all the member states.”

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