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United Nations General Secretary Antonio Guterres e Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday he decided to organize an evacuation from the Azovstal a of Ukraine defeated city of Mariupolthe organization said.
At a meeting, the two also reportedly agreed in principle that the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross should be involved in the evacuation of civilians there.
United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters that the two discussed “proposals for humanitarian assistance and the evacuation of civilians from conflict zones, in particular in relation to the situation in Mariupol”.
Further talks on the evacuation will be held with the UN humanitarian office and the Russian defense ministry.
Monday, Ukraine call for the United Nations to oversee any safe evacuation route from the steel plant.
During the two-hour interview, Guterres criticized the Russian military action in Ukraine and called on Moscow to allow evacuations.
In turn, Putin claimed that Russian troops offered humanitarian corridors to civilians there, but said Ukrainian defenders of the plant were using civilians as shields and would not allow them to leave.
About 2,000 soldiers and 1,000 civilians are estimated to be holed up under the site, which was almost completely destroyed by Russian attacks.
Speaking earlier in the day, Guterres told reporters – after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov – that safe and effective humanitarian corridors are urgently needed.
He proposed coordination between the United Nations, the Red Cross and Ukrainian and Russian forces to allow the evacuation of civilians “both inside and outside the Azovstal plant and into the city, in whichever direction they choose, and to provide the humanitarian aid needed “.
Yet, in a speech on Wednesday, Putin voted again that Russia’s goals in Ukraine will be achieved.
“I want to stress once again that all the tasks of the special military operation we are conducting in the Donbas and Ukraine, which started on February 24, will be fulfilled unconditionally,” he told both chambers of the Russian parliament.
After speaking with Lavrov, Guterres noticed On Tuesday that Russia still has a “different stance” on what is happening in Ukraine.
“According to the Russian Federation, what is happening is a special military operation with the objectives that were announced,” he said. “According to the United Nations in line with the resolutions passed by the General Assembly, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a violation of its territorial integrity and contrary to the Charter of the United Nations”.
Greg Norman of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.