UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed deep concern over the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine. He expressed such concerns during a phone conversation with the foreign ministers of the two countries on Monday. Guterres spokesman Stephen Dujarric was quoted by AFP as saying.
Russia’s tensions with the West continue with the deployment of millions of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border. The Western world fears that the Kremlin could launch an attack on Ukraine at any time. However, Russia has said in a statement that it has no plans to launch an attack. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the allegations “provocative.”
Antonio Guterres spoke by telephone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kulebar. Later, at a regular press conference held at the UN headquarters in New York, his spokesman Stephen Dujarric briefed reporters on the contents of the phone conversation. He said Guterres had called for a diplomatic solution in a phone conversation with the foreign ministers of the two countries. He says diplomacy is the only way forward.
Guterres also expressed deep concern to the foreign ministers of the two countries over the tensions over the Ukraine issue. He welcomed the ongoing diplomatic talks to resolve these tensions. He reiterated that there is no alternative to diplomacy.
At a news conference on January 21, Guterres said he did not think Russia would invade Ukraine. Dujarric said yesterday that the UN chief was still adamant.
There are 1,060 UN staff members in Ukraine. Of these, 1,440 are Ukrainian citizens and 220 are foreigners.
Dujarric said there were no plans to remove UN staff from Ukraine.
The Security Council will meet next Thursday to discuss the Ukraine issue and the Minsk agreement.