UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Russian President Vladimir Putin have reportedly agreed on arranging evacuations from a besieged steel plant in the battered city of Mariupol.
According to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, Putin and Guterres discussed during a private meeting on Tuesday “proposals for humanitarian assistance and evacuation of civilians from conflict zones, namely in relation to the situation in Mariupol.”
Reports said nationalist fighters have not received instructions from Kiev to surrender, while additional reports said Turkey had offered to help by allowing them into Turkey
Dujarric said the UN chief and the Russian leader “agreed in principle” that the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross ought to be involved in the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal steel plant, where Ukrainian nationalist troops and foreign mercenaries have been holding out, along with unarmed civilians according to reports.
Russia's defense ministry has been saying it would allow civilians to evacuate Azovstal steel, but Kiev insisted that no humanitarian corridor were open.
Moscow had been claiming for some time now that Russian troops would not fire on persons or groups with raised white flags fleeing the plant, adding that civilians would be able to choose any direction they wished to go.
"All will enjoy proper medical assistance, including first aid, at the meeting sites,” officials said, adding that a full message was being telecasted to Ukrainian forces in Azovstal every half hour.
Reports said nationalist fighters have not received instructions from Kiev to surrender, while additional reports said Turkey had offered to help by allowing them into Turkey.