U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called during a visit to Russia Tuesday for Moscow and Kyiv to work together to set up aid and evacuation corridors in war-torn Ukraine.
“We urgently need humanitarian corridors that are truly safe and effective,” he told a press conference after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“To that end I have proposed the establishment of a humanitarian contact group bringing together the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the United Nations to look for opportunities for the opening of safe corridors,” he said.
Guterres also called for an independent investigation into “possible war crimes” in Ukraine.
“I am concerned about the repeated reports of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law and possible war crimes. And they require independent investigation for effective accountability,” Guterres said.
Lavrov said Moscow was ready to cooperate with the United Nations to help civilians in Ukraine.
“Our goals are primarily to protect the civilian population and here we are ready to cooperate with our colleagues from the U.N. to alleviate the plight of the civilian population,” Lavrov said.
He said Russia was in favour of resolving the conflict in Ukraine with peace talks, but said it was “depressing” the way the Kyiv delegation and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky behaved.