(UNITED NATIONS) — The U.N. says Secretary-General António Guterres and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed in principle that the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross should be involved in the evacuation of civilians from a besieged steel plant in Ukraine’s southeastern city of Mariupol.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that during their one-on-one meeting Tuesday, Guterres and Putin “discussed the proposals for humanitarian assistance and evacuation of civilians from conflict zones, namely in relation to the situation in Mariupol.”
The sprawling Azovstal steel plant has been almost completely destroyed by Russian attacks but it is the last pocket of organized Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol.
An estimated 2,000 troops and 1,000 civilians are said to be holed up in bunkers underneath the wrecked structure.
Dujarric said that following the Guterres-Putin agreement in principle, discussions will be held with the U.N. humanitarian office and the Russian Defense Ministry on the evacuation.