Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday discussed the evacuation of people from the besieged city of Mariupol, the presidential press service reported.
Ukraine is ready for urgent talks to evacuate people from Mariupol and hopes that the participation of the UN secretary-general in this mission would help the evacuation efforts, Zelensky told reporters after the meeting.
"We see that despite the words of the Russian President (Vladimir Putin) about the alleged cessation of hostilities in Mariupol, the territory of the Azovstal plant is under barbaric bombing by the Russian army," Zelensky said.
He also called on the UN chief to make efforts to stop the "deportation" of Ukrainian citizens to Russia and return home Ukrainians from Russia.
For his part, Guterres said that he is doing his best to save people in Mariupol.
"We will continue to call for a complete ceasefire, as well as for immediate practical measures to save lives and minimize human suffering," the UN chief said.
He stressed the need for effective humanitarian corridors from Mariupol and local cessation of hostilities.
Guterres arrived in Ukraine on Wednesday to talk with Zelensky, after visiting Moscow on Tuesday.
Mariupol, a key Azov Sea port city in eastern Ukraine, saw one of the worst violence in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.