Humanitarian ceasefires between Russia and Ukraine are not on the horizon right now, said the United Nations aid chief.
Martin Griffiths met with senior officials in Moscow and Kyiv this month to discuss “aspirations” for humanitarian ceasefires. Griffiths said that while ceasefires between the forces in Ukraine will not happen right now, maybe it will be possible in a couple of weeks, perhaps longer.
In a briefing to reporters at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Griffith discussed attempts to arrange local ceasefires so that desperate civilians can be evacuated and badly needed assistance can finally be provided.
Griffiths, the U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths made the remarks after a meeting of the Security Council on Threats to International Peace and Security.
He said that a humanitarian ceasefire obviously has not been established on the Russian side. Russian authorities are not putting local ceasefires at the top of their agenda, and said, therefore, ceasefires are not “on the horizon.”
The U.N. aid chief will travel to Turkey this week to discuss hosting humanitarian talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials.
Turkey has been able to present itself as a valuable and useful host to both Ukraine and Russia, Griffiths said.
A humanitarian convoy is being planned by u.N. aid officials to be dispatched in the next couple of days into the eastern part of Ukraine, into the Donetsk region, where Russia-backed separatists declared a republic.
Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine marks the biggest attack on a European state since 1945. Thousands have been killed, and thousands more wounded. More than seven million people are estimated to be displaced internally in Ukraine and in desperate need of assistance.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk urged Russian forces to allow for evacuations from the besieged and devastated city of Mariupol, which has been described as “hell on earth.”