UN secretary-general thanks Türkiye for its role in Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap

by Anadolu Agency


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday thanked Türkiye for its role in the exchange of prisoners of war between Ukraine and Russia.

“I thank the governments of Türkiye and Saudi Arabia for their role in securing this agreement,” Guterres said at the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine.

“Yesterday’s news that more than 250 prisoners of war were exchanged between Ukraine and Russian Federation was a welcome development,” he added.

“I commend the efforts of those parties. I hope that we will build on these with further exchanging aiming at an all-for-all formula,” he said.

The prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine took place Wednesday after Türkiye’s mediation and diplomatic efforts with the leaders of the two countries.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked President Erdogan “for his leading role in liberating our people.”

Touching on the landmark Russia-Ukraine grain export deal brokered by Türkiye and the UN in July, Guterres said so far more than 4.3 million metric tons of grain and food supplies have set off for 29 countries including Afghanistan and Yemen, across three continents, thanks to the agreement.

“Since the signing of Black Sea Grain Initiative, global food prices have dropped sharply. Although they are still almost 8% higher than a year ago,” he said.

Guterres said the UN also signed a memorandum with Russia on the full access of Russian food and fertilizer products including ammonium nitrate to global markets.

In his address to participating foreign ministers, Guterres pointed to the current situation of the Russia-Ukraine war, saying it does not seem to end.

He called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision of partial military mobilization “dangerous and disturbing,” saying it will lead to more bloodshed.

The so-called referendum plans in eastern Ukraine are also extremely worrying, Guterres said, adding that annexing another country’s territory by using force violates international law and the UN Convention.

He said the International Criminal Court has launched an investigation into alleged human rights violations in Ukraine, calling on the parties to cooperate with the institution.

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