UN Secretary-General to visit Russia for FIFA World Cup and meeting with Putin
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will travel to Russia next week, where he is to hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and attend a World Cup soccer match in the country.
UN representative Stéphane Dujarric said on June 12 that the Secretary-General will be in Russia on June 20-21. In addition to meeting with Putin, he is scheduled to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.
During the two-day visit, Guterres will also address a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club, attend a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the UN presence in Russia, and go to a soccer match between Portugal and Morocco. Guterres previously served as Prime Minister of Portugal.
On the way to Russia, the UN Secretary-General will visit Finland and Norway.
On June 12, Ukrainian Ambassador to Finland Andrii Olefirov said that the top leadership of Finland will join the boycott of the World Cup in Russia.
A Radio Liberty correspondent in Brussels earlier reported that the European Parliament is preparing a resolution for the diplomatic boycott of the 2018 World Cup, which begins this week in Russia. The corresponding resolution may be adopted on June 14 at a regular meeting.
Representatives from the governing administrations of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Iceland, and Poland have already announced their participation in the diplomatic boycott of the championship tournament in Russia. Additionally, 46 members of the European Parliament have signed a letter calling on the EU countries to boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The 2018 World Cup will be held across 11 Russian cities; the first match is scheduled for June 14. The final will be held on July 15.