Apr 24, 2022 - World

Ukraine official says U.N. meeting with Putin "not good idea"

A top adviser to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is "not really" authorized to speak on behalf of Ukraine in discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The big picture: The comment comes as Guterres prepares to meet with Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday, before meeting with Zelensky and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday.

  • "We need urgent steps to save lives, end the human suffering and bring about peace in Ukraine," Guterres wrote in a tweet announcing the meetings on Friday.

Driving the news: “This is not good idea to travel to Moscow. We did not understand his intention to travel to Moscow and to talk to President Putin,” Igor Zhovkva, Zelensky's top diplomatic adviser, told NBC's "Meet the Press."

  • "Any peace talks are good if they end with a result," Zhovkva said. "I really doubt if those peace talks organized by secretary-general of the UN will end up with any result."
  • Zhovkva added that he believes the UN "is lagging behind in Ukraine in terms of humanitarian support to my country," he said. "So it would be good if UN secretary-general would concentrate on these things as well."
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