Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday the situation around Ukraine "has become a catalyst" for "a great number of problems," and therefore Russia responded "expeditiously" to the request by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for talks.
"We definitely appreciate your desire to have another round of talks at this hard time," Lavrov told Guterres at the beginning of a meeting in Moscow aimed to discuss the situation in Ukraine and its global impact.
Lavrov said the meeting between Guterres and Russian President Vladimir Putin later Tuesday "emphasizes the significance that we attach to our contacts with the United Nations."
Guterres told Lavrov, "we are extremely interested" in finding ways to create conditions for effective dialogue, for a ceasefire "as soon as possible" and "conditions for a peaceful solution."
"I know today we are facing a complex situation in Ukraine, different interpretations about what is happening in Ukraine, but that does not limit the possibility to have a very serious dialogue on how best we can work to minimize the suffering of people," Guterres said.
"These are also very deep interests that I have in the present moment -- to do everything possible to end the war as soon as possible, and to do everything possible to minimize the suffering of the people and to address the impacts of the vulnerable populations" in other parts of the world as well that have been impacted by the war.
"It is very important to support all countries around the world in relation to food, in relation to energy, in relation to finance," Guterres said.