"I am deeply worried by the heightened tensions and increased speculation about a potential military conflict in Europe. The price in human suffering, destruction and damage to European and global security is too high to contemplate,” Mr. Guterres stressed.
He noted, “We cannot allow even a possibility of such a catastrophic collision. I will remain fully engaged in the hours and days to come. I just spoke this morning with the ministers of foreign affairs of the Russian Federation and Ukraine [Sergei Lavrov and Dmitry Kuleba]. I said clearly: there is no alternative to diplomacy. All issues – including the most intractable – can and must be addressed and resolved through diplomatic frameworks."
Mr. Guterres also urged to avoid statements on Ukraine that lead to aggravation of tensions. According to him, ‘public statements should be aimed at reducing tension, not at inflaming the situation’.
Mr. Guterres welcomed the recent diplomatic contacts on Ukraine, including between heads of state. “But more needs to be done,” he said, adding that he expects all to intensify such efforts. According to Mr. Guterres, ‘abandoning diplomacy for confrontation is not a step over a line, it is a dive over a cliff’.
Mr. Guterres added the UN Country Team remained ‘fully operational’ in Ukraine.