United Nations, Apr 4 (EFE).- The top humanitarian official at the United Nations, Martin Griffiths of the United Kingdom, met in Moscow with key Russian government officials to try and arrange a humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine, contacts that the international organization described on Monday as “productive” and which will now be pursued with authorities in Kyiv.
Griffiths met in the Russian capital with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, among other officials, according to what UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters.
Haq said that the contacts were “productive” but he offered no details while waiting for Griffiths to brief UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who had authorized the mediation mission.
Griffiths, in addition, is scheduled to appear by videoconference before the UN Security Council at a session on Ukraine at which Guterres will also speak.
The spokesman said that the British diplomat is scheduled to travel to Ukraine to continue the talks with the government in Kyiv, with which he has already been in contact, although for the moment no date for his visit has been announced.
The British ambassador to the UN, Barbara Woodward, said during another press conference that expectations are that Griffiths could travel to Kyiv on Tuesday.
Last Monday, Guterres announced that he had tasked the British diplomat with “immediately” exploring with Russia and Ukraine a potential agreement for a humanitarian ceasefire, in parallel to the mediation efforts being hosted by other countries, mainly Turkey, to put an end to the war.
So far, Russia has rejected any UN role as a mediator in the conflict and in recent weeks the Kremlin on several occasions has criticized the stances taken by Guterres, who has clearly denounced Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine as a serious violation of the UN Charter.
Given the difficulties of intervening on the political level, the UN has focused its efforts in the humanitarian sphere with delivering aid to the Ukrainian population and making efforts to facilitate the evacuation of civilians from the war zone.
Within that framework, Guterres proposed the idea for a humanitarian ceasefire, which the UN says would allow assistance to be delivered to zones that have been unable to be accessed, thus potentially saving numerous lives among the people there, who are often quite short on food, medicine, medical care and shelter.