UN chief to visit Moscow April 26, will meet with Putin

Next week's travel to also include separate sit-down with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, UN chief's office announces.

UN chief to visit Moscow April 26, will meet with Putin

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will visit Moscow next week, and will be received by Russian President Vladimir Putin, his office announced on Friday.

Guterres' April 26 meeting will also see him hold a working meeting and lunch with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Guterres earlier this week sent diplomatic notes to both Russia and Ukraine seeking separate sit-downs with the nations' leaders. Stephane Dujarric, his spokesman, said letters were handed to the permanent missions of Russia and Ukraine on Tuesday afternoon.

"In these letters, the Secretary-General asked (Russian) President Vladimir Putin to receive him in Moscow and (Ukrainian) President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to receive him in Kyiv," Dujarric said on Wednesday.

"The Secretary-General said, at this time of great peril and consequence, he would like to discuss urgent steps to bring about peace in Ukraine and the future of multilateralism based on the Charter of the United Nations and international law," he added.

Guterres noted that Ukraine and Russia are founding members of the UN and "have always been strong supporters of this Organization," added Dujarric.

Since the war began on Feb. 24, the civilian death toll in Ukraine has climbed to 2,435 while 2,946 others have been injured, according to UN estimates, with the true figure feared to be much higher.

More than 5 million Ukrainians have fled to other countries, with over 7 million more internally displaced, said the UN refugee agency.

Hüseyin Demir