Guterres: Russia´s invasion of Ukraine ´not irreversible´

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that Russia's invasion of Ukraine was unacceptable but not "irreversible", announcing the provision of $20 million in emergency aid to the victims of the conflict.

For the second time in less than 24 hours, Guterres appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to halt his offensive and return his forces to Russia, rather than publicly repudiate compliance with the United Nations Charter.

"It is wrong, contrary to the Charter and unacceptable," Guterres said in a brief statement delivered at the United Nations headquarters in New York. But it is not irreversible,” he said, criticizing Russia’s military incursion “on a scale that Europe has not seen for decades.”

Guterres urged Putin to "stop the military operation," repeating his message late Wednesday during an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to "return the troops to Russia."

Guterres said dozens of deaths had already been reported, and there was "fear, pain and horror" across Ukraine.

He added that in response to the attack, the United Nations was expanding its humanitarian operations "in and around Ukraine", in particular allocating $20 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to meet urgent needs.

"We provide life-saving humanitarian relief to people in need, regardless of who they are or where they are," Guterres stressed, noting that the protection of civilians should be "the number one priority."

He added that the decisions that will be taken in the coming days will "shape our world" and will directly affect millions of people, noting that "it is not too late to save this generation from the scourge of war."

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