UN Secretary-General António Guterres believes that at the moment there is no visible way to achieve a peace agreement or a comprehensive ceasefire to end Russian aggression against Ukraine. Guterres said this during a joint press conference with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen on Wednesday in Vienna.
"It was clear to us that at the moment there is no visible possibility of a peace agreement or a comprehensive ceasefire," he said.
According to Guterres, that is why the U.N. has focused its diplomatic efforts on two fronts. The first has to do with improving conditions for evacuations and humanitarian aid by creating appropriate humanitarian corridors in the area of hostilities in Ukraine. Against this background, he particularly commended the joint efforts of the UN and the ICRC to evacuate civilians from Azovstal in Mariupol - "which demonstrates that more can be done to save lives and beautify the dramatic situation.
Another focus of the UN's work is efforts to find ways to bring Ukrainian food, but also food and fertilizers from Russia and Belarus, back to the world market despite the war.
"Nothing lasts forever. And this war will not last forever. The moment will come when peace talks are on the agenda, and the moment will come, I hope, when it will be possible to find a solution to the problem in accordance with the UN Charter and international law. I am always ready to mediate and to do my best when that moment comes," Guterres said.
The U.N. secretary general stressed that "the Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused widespread devastation, destruction and suffering in the country, causing the largest population displacement since World War II and provoking repercussions throughout the region and the world."
"This stupid war must be stopped," he stressed.