Marcelo hopes for Guterres’ Ukraine talks

UN secretary general finally schedules face-to-face with Putin

President Marcelo has reacted to the news that UN secretary general and former PS prime minister António Guterres has finally scheduled a face-to-face with both Vladimir Putin, in Moscow, and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in Kyiv, in the hope that this “might bring peace faster”.

Sadly, his observations have not been shared by experts – nor even by President Zelenskyy who is non-plussed by Guterres’ decision to meet with Putin before visiting Ukraine.

On SIC television last night, specialists when it comes to news of the war – José Milhazes and Nuno Rogério – were unimpressed.

Historian José Milhazes – who lived in Russia for decades, ‘assisting in the construction of communism’ – classified the trip to Moscow as a complete “waste of time”.

“There is no point talking to Sergei Lavrov” (Russia’s foreign affairs minister), he said, “even less to Putin”.

Guterres’ could even end up “being humiliated”, considered the 63-year-old who only returned to live in Portugal in 2015.

“My expectations (for the secretary-general’s visit to the Kremlin) are below zero”, he told the evening news anchor.

Nuno Rogério, whose information throughout the conflict has been a step ahead of international news, said he actually fears the visit will be used to promote further propaganda, “to suggest Russia is back making international contacts”.

António Guterres will have to take care in not being photographed or filmed, said Rogério – otherwise his intervention risks being ‘instrumentalised’ by Russia.

In Kyiv, purportedly preparing to welcome US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken for talks on heavy weaponry his side needs, Volodymyr Zelenksyy has simply criticised António Guterres for what he considers the “illogical, incorrect” decision to visit Moscow before Kyiv.

For now, Mr Guterres’ trips have been scheduled for Tuesday (April 26) in Moscow, and Thursday (April 28) in Kyiv.

Speaking in Lisbon yesterday, President Marcelo stressed his hopes that something would come of the secretary-general’s tardy attempts at some kind of mediation.

A rapid resolution of the conflict “would not only abbreviate the suffering of the martyred people of Ukraine, it would also alleviate anguish, concern and serious disturbance in the lives of millions around the world “and millions of Portuguese in particular”.

The visits “open a window of hope”, Marcelo considered, stressing the window would have to involve “consistent opening of the Russian Federation to effective, true dialogue”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com