UN's Guterres: Not optimistic about Russia-Ukraine peace talks
Guterres believes that the war in Ukraine will go on.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has stated that he is not optimistic about the possibility of "effective" peace talks between Ukraine and Russia in the near future.
''I do believe that the military confrontation will go on,'' said Guterres at the UN Headquarters in New York. Adding that they will have to wait for serious peace negotiations, Guterres said "We have no illusions that true peace negotiations will be possible in the immediate future.''
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The UN, according to its SG, said that it is concentrating its efforts on Russian ammonia exports through a pipeline to a Black Sea port in Ukraine and accelerating exchanging prisoners of war.
Turkish media outlet Anadolu Agency asked Guterres whether he would support an Erdogan-proposed trilateral mechanism between Ankara, Moscow, and Damascus in efforts to resolve the war. In response, Guterres said that the UN was not consulted and it is "premature" to make any comments on the proposal. The UN's main concern in the timebeing is Syria, particularly renewing its cross-border humanitarian aid mechanism.
''Now that we have made progress (on) indeed, and Turkey has played a positive role on that in increasing the cross-line support,'' he said.
Earlier this month, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia is ready for peace talks with Ukraine if a concrete proposal that is considerate of Moscow's interests is presented.
"If there is now a serious proposal on how to stop this conflict while meeting our absolutely legitimate demands, of course we will be ready to talk," Lavrov said.
Ukraine imposing ultimatums for talks
Efforts to push for negotiations between the two warring parties have been ongoing since the start of the conflict.
But Kiev's lack of consideration of Moscow's legitimate interests and the ultimatums Ukraine imposes on the conditions for peace talks have caused the negotiations to reach a standstill.
In late September, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow was open to talks with Kiev and called on Ukraine to stop the hostilities.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in turn, stated that Kiev was ready for dialogue with Moscow, but only if another president came to power in Russia - a demand which he later dropped.
In a video message to the G20 summit on November 15, Zelensky stated that Kiev does not want to sign a peace agreement that is detrimental to Ukraine's interests and that Moscow will "violate immediately after the conclusion."
Commenting on Zelensky's statement, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said this "absolutely confirms" Kiev's refusal to negotiate.
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