Thursday, September 29, 2022

UN aid chief: ‘I’m not optimistic’ about Ukraine ceasefire

KYIV, Ukraine ( Associated Press) – The UN humanitarian chief said on Thursday he was not optimistic about securing a ceasefire to stop fighting in Ukraine, following high-level talks in Moscow and Kyiv that Indicates how far apart the two sides are.

Under Secretary-General Martin Griffiths gave a vague assessment after ending talks with Prime Minister Denis Shyamal and other top officials in an interview with the Associated Press in Ukraine’s capital. This was followed by discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and officials in Moscow earlier in the week.

“I think it’s not going to be easy because, as I know now, both sides have very little trust in each other,” he said.

“I’m not an optimist,” he later added.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent Griffith to the Russian and Ukrainian capitals to explore the possibility of establishing a ceasefire that would allow desperately needed aid into Ukraine and potentially set the ground for talks aimed at ending the war. Will do

Griffiths suggested that the target remained too far in the distance.

“Obviously, we all want it to happen. But as you know – you are here – it is not going to happen immediately,” he said.

A less than complete ceasefire, Griffith said he is looking for ways to build confidence on both sides and focus on smaller goals, such as establishing local ceasefires in parts of the country and creating humanitarian corridors that allow civilians to fight. allow to escape. He said that the flow of relief material has become difficult to reach some parts of the country.

“This war is not stopping tomorrow,” he said. “Where we are a little closer is to get an understanding of both sides… what the impact of a local ceasefire will be. There are many parts of Ukraine where we can achieve a local ceasefire tomorrow, defined in geography and time.

Russian troops have withdrawn from parts of Ukraine, particularly around Kyiv, in what many believe is a sharp push into the country’s east.

Griffiths said that local ceasefires could still mean progress in areas where fighting is not ongoing, as they require that forces do not advance and therefore cannot regroup elsewhere.

Aid groups have struggled to deliver supplies to those in need.

Over the past week, members of a Red Cross convoy were prevented from reaching the besieged city of Mariupol to help clear a convoy of civilians. He was detained at one point during his mission, and eventually ended up with about 1,000 men who had found their way to a town further west from Mariupol.

An overwhelming majority of the 193-member UN General Assembly has called for an immediate end to fighting in Ukraine, twice on March 2 and March 24.


Follow Associated Press’s coverage of the war

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