Guterres concerned about ripple effect of Russia-Ukraine crisis on vulnerable communities

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United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed concern over the ripple effect the Ukraine crisis is having in terms of food, energy and financial costs on vulnerable communities around the world, particularly in Africa.

Guterres met with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, the second stop in three capital visits he is making this week, in efforts to bring about a ceasefire in Ukraine.

He visited Ankara in Turkey on Monday ahead of stops in Russia and will then head to Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on Thursday.

At the top of their meeting in Moscow, the Secretary General told Lavrov that he was a committed multilateralist and expressed an interest in creating conditions for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

“I am as you know a very committed multilateralism and a committed multilateralism based on the UN Charter and International law. I know that are today facing a complex situation in Ukraine and there are different interpretations about what’s happening in Ukraine but that does not limit the possibility to have a very serious dialogue on how best we can work to minimize the suffering of people. On the other hand, we are extremely interested in finding ways in order to create the conditions for effective dialogue, create the conditions for a ceasefire as soon as possible, create the conditions for a peaceful solution,” says Guterres.

Meanwhile, Lavrov indicated that he was interested in discussing true multilateralism with the UN Chief, accusing western nations of flouting the principle.

“We appreciate your desire to have another round of talks at this hard time in order to consider and think properly and in an in depth way about how we shall be able to develop the United Nations and the true multilateralism principles and the system, and I must say that these principles of a true multilateralism have for a number of years has been flouted by the west that has undertaken the tactics of instilling into the world arena the unilateral world order for it to stay for good. True multilateralism should be underpinned by the principles of the UN Charter and most importantly the principles enshrined in it which is the sovereign equality of nations,” says Lavrov.