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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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