MOSCOW, March 4. /TASS/. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres discussed the situation in Ukraine and agreed to enhance the efficiency of cooperation between the corresponding UN structures and the Russian defense ministry on humanitarian issues, the Russian defense ministry said on Friday after their telephone conversation.
"On March 4, Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergey Shoigu has a telephone conversation with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. The sides discussed the situation in Ukraine. Sergey Shoigu informed the UN secretary general about the reasons why a decision on the special military operation in Ukraine was made," the ministry said.
The Russian minister explained that the decision stemmed from the fact that over the past eight years Ukraine’s leadership has been refusing to implement the Minsk agreements, has been encouraging nationalists and neo-Nazis in power structures and has intensified shelling attacks against civilians in Donbass in the recent time.
"The defense minister noted that talks on the peaceful settlement of the conflict have not get off the ground. Instead of demanding the Kiev regime stop genocide against the population of the southeast of its own country, Washington and Western nations began to flood Ukraine with weapons and munitions, pushing it toward settling the conflict by force," the ministry said. "Kiev was so inspired by the West’s support that it announced its nuclear ambitions."
According to the ministry, Shoigu noted that hostile confrontation with Russia has become Ukraine’s key stance "and thanks to the West it has become a territory where a threat to Russia’s security is coming from."
The minister stressed that Russia’s troops are using high-precision weapons to hit only military infrastructure facilities, "which were established for the purposes of Ukraine’s militarization and to conduct a cruel punitive operation against civilians in southeastern Ukraine," the ministry noted.
Shoigu emphasized that "the Russian army is not threatening civilians, it doesn’t open fire at civilian facilities and observes international humanitarian law," it said..
The minister also drew the UN secretary general’s attention to the fact that "nationalist and neo-Nazi units, which have foreign mercenaries, use civilians as a human shield." He said that the Russian military have created humanitarian corridors to make it possible for civilians reach areas controlled by the Russian army but nationalist don’t let them do it.
Shoigu also informed Guterres that a coordination headquarters for humanitarian response has been set up at Russia’s National Defense Management Center.
"UN secretary general thanked the Russian defense minister for assistance in the evacuation of the UN personnel from Ukraine, which proceeded smoothly and without incidents. He asked to boost the efficiency of cooperation between the corresponding United Nations structures and the Russian defense ministry on humanitarian problems in Ukraine. Sergey Shoigu voiced support to Mr. Guterres request," the ministry added.