UN chief Guterres to visit Moscow in mid-May, amid growing criticism of Russia

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will visit Moscow in May, the Russian diplomatic mission to the United Nations said Thursday, a trip that comes amid growing international criticism of Russia.

“(The) secretary-general will visit Moscow. He will be there on May 12 and 13,” Russian deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy told a press conference.

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“We expect very fruitful negotiations with foreign minister (Sergei) Lavrov. I hope that there will be a very intensive diplomatic and cultural program for him,” he added, without specifying whether a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin was planned.

The UN chief will discuss multiple topics during his time in Russia, from Ukraine to Syria, as well as Libya, Afghanistan, Myanmar and other conflicts and crises, Polyanskiy said.

Guterres’s visit comes at a time when Russia -- which holds veto power on the UN Security Council, where Moscow’s position is often key -- is under increasing international pressure amid allegations of cyberattacks, election interference and other activities.

Several dozen Russian diplomats have recently been expelled from multiple countries, and the rift with the West has been further accentuated by new economic sanctions against Moscow.

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