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UN | Secretary-General's opening remarks at press encounter with Russian Foreign Minister, 26 Mar
I had a very frank discussion with the Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, and it is clear that there are two different positions on what is happening in Ukraine.  
According to the UN, in line with the resolutions passed by the General Assembly, Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a violation of its territorial integrity and against the Charter of the United Nations.

But it is my deep conviction that the sooner we end this war, the better - for the people of Ukraine, for the people of the Russian Federation, and those far beyond.  

The United Nations has repeatedly called for ceasefires to protect civilians and to facilitate a political dialogue to reach a solution. So far, that has not been possible.
My proposal is for a coordinated work of the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Ukrainian and Russian Federation forces to enable the safe evacuation of those civilians who want to leave, both inside the Azovstal plant and in the city, in any direction they chose, and to deliver the humanitarian aid required. This is not just about what is happening in Ukraine, as we are seeing shock waves around the world.
We need a world that is multipolar, with multilateral institutions, and those multilateral institutions must abide by the UN Charter and by international law - and by the UN Charter and by international law, recognizing full equality among States, they hopefully will be an instrument that will allow us, once again, to come together as humankind and address the dramatic challenges we face, from climate change to epidemics and to many others, and in which the only war we should have would be a war of those that put the planet at risk.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the RF | Speech and answers to media questions by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov during a joint press conference following talks with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Moscow, April 26, 2022
We had intense negotiations. We talked about many of the problems facing the UN. There is work that continues on Syria, on Libya. We must not forget the Middle East settlement. This is one of the oldest conflicts in the world, which, contrary to the resolutions of the Security Council, is moving further and further away from its solution.

For obvious reasons, the focus was on the situation on the European continent in the context of what is happening in Ukraine, the DPR and LPR. The situation there has developed not today and not yesterday. We are grateful to the Secretary General and his team for their understanding of the need to consider the situation in Ukraine and around it not in isolation from the processes on the world stage, but in the context of trends that are accumulating and far from always go in line with the ideals of the UN, the principles enshrined in the Charter UN. Today I spoke in detail to our colleague and friend A. Guterres that we see how this situation has accumulated to a large extent. In a decisive context, this happened as a result of the course taken by our American colleagues and their allies for the unlimited expansion of NATO, the establishment of a unipolar world.
Of course, we talked about the fate of the UN as a whole. About the attempts of our Western colleagues to take the discussion of key issues beyond the framework of universal formats under the auspices of the UN and its system, to "produce" various partnerships, appeals that are presented as a "club of advanced workers", a "club of the elite". In the same vein, there is an initiative put forward by France and Germany - the "Alliance of Multilateralists". What is this if not competition with the UN? Or the initiative of the United States, which in 2021 held a "summit of democracies", where they issued an invitation on their own, without consulting anyone. This also drew the attention of our interlocutors today. This is, in general, a dangerous "bell" for the UN, an attempt to cross out the basic rules and principles of the UN Charter. Namely, that the Organization was created on the basis of the sovereign equality of states. This is written in the UN Charter. This needs to be reminded. We will do this more often so that no one in New York or in the capitals of the member countries forgets about it. ...

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on April 26, 2022
AFP: The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said there is a real threat of a third World War breaking out following his country's invasion of Ukraine. Does China share Mr. Lavrov's view on that? And what preparations is China taking in case the scope of the war grows larger?
Wang Wenbin: No one wants to see the outbreak of a third world war. We hope that relevant parties can keep cool-headed and exercise restraint, prevent escalation of tension, realize peace as soon as possible and avoid inflicting a heavier price on Europe and the world. Under the current circumstances, all parties should, first and foremost, support dialogue and negotiation to prevent the expansion and prolongation of conflicts. At the same time, we should reflect on why Europe has again got caught up in the geopolitical conflict more than 30 years after the end of the Cold War, on how to build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture, and on how to strengthen the global security governance system.

by Cat on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 07:49:36 PM EST
Vladimir Putin Meeting with UN Secretary General António Guterres, 26 Mar transcript
PUTIN: ...I am aware of your concern regarding Russia's military operation in the Donbass, in Ukraine. I think that will be at the heart of our conversation today. In this regard, I would only like to note that the whole problem arose after the coup d'état that took place in Ukraine in 2014. This is an obvious fact. You can call it whatever you want and you can have whatever attachments you want to those who did it, but this is really an unconstitutional coup.
I would like to inform you that, despite the ongoing military operation, we still hope that we will be able to reach agreements on the diplomatic track as well. We are negotiating, we do not refuse them.

Moreover, at the talks in Istanbul - and I know that you were just there, I spoke with President Erdogan today - we managed to achieve quite a serious breakthrough. Because our Ukrainian colleagues did not associate the security requirements of the international, international security of Ukraine with such a concept as the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine, leaving Crimea, Sevastopol and the newly recognized Russian republics of Donbass out of brackets, but with certain reservations.
This is what I would like to say at the beginning. Surely we will have many questions related to this situation. Maybe we can talk about other issues.

I am very glad to see you. Welcome to Moscow!

GUTERRES (retranslated): Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for receiving me in the Kremlin.

In fact, as Secretary General, my main concern is the situation in Ukraine. I have a clear understanding that we need a multilateral order based on the United Nations Charter and international law. Any rules to be established must be established by consensus of the international community and fully comply with international law. I tirelessly, firmly believe in international law, in the UN Charter. That is why we often have different views on situations that occur
We firmly believe that the violation of the territorial integrity of any country is completely inconsistent with the UN Charter. We are deeply concerned about what is happening now: we believe that there has been an invasion of the territory of Ukraine. Nevertheless, I arrived in Moscow with a pragmatic approach. We are deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

The United Nations is not part of the political negotiations. We have never been invited or allowed to participate either in the Minsk process or in the Normandy format. The UN has never been a part of these formats. We are not part of the negotiations and I had the opportunity to express this to President Erdogan. We support dialogue between the two countries and support Turkey's goodwill in advancing this approach. But our main task with regard to the humanitarian situation in Ukraine is to resolve and improve this situation. That is why today I had a meeting with Minister Sergey Lavrov, and I put forward two proposals.
We pursue one goal, namely: to alleviate the situation of people, to reduce their suffering. As I said, this can be done by bringing together both parties - the ICRC, our department - OCHA. Create the necessary conditions, make it as transparent as possible, so that no one can blame others anymore for something not happening.

PUTIN: Dear Mr. Secretary General!

First, about the invasion. I am very well acquainted, very well - I have personally read all the documents of the International Court of Justice on the situation in Kosovo. I remember very well the decision of the International Court of Justice, which states that in exercising the right to self-determination, a territory of any state is not obliged to apply for permission to declare its sovereignty to the central authorities of the country.

This was said about Kosovo, and this is the decision of the International Court of Justice, and this decision was supported by everyone. I personally read all the comments of the legal, administrative, and political bodies of the United States and European countries: everyone supported this.

If this is so, then the republics of Donbass, the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic, have the same right, without applying to the central authorities of Ukraine, to declare their sovereignty, because the precedent has been created, right? Do you agree with this?

GUTERRES (retranslated): First of all, Mr. President, the United Nations does not recognize Kosovo.

PUTIN: Yes, yes, yes, but the court recognized it. Let me finish....

by Cat on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 11:58:21 PM EST
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