Antonio Guterres: This humanitarian truce will save lives, prevent suffering and protect the civilian population of Ukraine.

The UN offers to mediate between Russia and Ukraine in order to urgently agree on a humanitarian truce.

This was stated on Monday by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, speaking at a press conference. The UN believes that the humanitarian truce between Russia and Ukraine will make it possible to deliver the necessary humanitarian aid, as well as ensure the safety of the movement of civilians.

“It will save lives, prevent suffering and protect the civilian population of Ukraine,” Guterres told reporters.

He recalled that since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the war has led to “the senseless loss of thousands of lives, the forced relocation of ten million people, mostly women and children, the systematic destruction of Ukraine’s important infrastructure and the rapid rise in global food and energy prices.”

The UN believes that all this should be put to an end and is doing “everything possible to support people whose lives have been turned upside down by the war.” The UN, according to Guterres, supports Ukrainian refugees, and also provides assistance to those who have remained in Ukraine.

According to Guterres, about a thousand UN staff work in eight humanitarian centers – in Dnipro, Vinnytsia, Lviv, Uzhgorod, Chernivtsi, Mukachevo, Lugansk and Donetsk. Over the past month, the World Food Program has provided assistance to 800 thousand Ukrainians, and by mid-April this figure is planned to increase to 1.2 million.

Guterres told reporters about a convoy with food, medical supplies and other essentials that arrived in Kharkiv.

“But let’s be blunt. The solution to this humanitarian tragedy is not in the humanitarian, but in the political plane,” the UN Secretary-General stressed, “therefore, I call for an immediate humanitarian truce that will allow progress to be made during serious political negotiations aimed at reaching a peace agreement based on the principles of the UN Charter.”

Guterres also expressed hope that such an agreement would help to cope with the consequences of the war in Ukraine associated with the threat of famine in many developing countries, which, due to the pandemic, already have to spend significant funds to overcome the crisis.

“I urge the parties to the conflict and the international community as a whole to cooperate with us in the name of peace and solidarity with the people of Ukraine and the whole world,” the UN chief said.

When asked by Guterres to comment on President Biden’s words that Putin should not remain in power, the UN Secretary General said: “I think we need de-escalation. We need military de-escalation and de-escalation in rhetoric.”