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Zelensky Meets with UN Secretary-General and Turkish President

UN Secretary General: Damage to nuclear power plants 'suicide'

Turkish leader and UN Secretary General met with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine on Thursday to announce a strong made an attempt. However, little immediate progress was reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would follow up with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Most of the issues discussed require the consent of the Kremlin.

With such a high-level meeting, it was President Erdogan's first visit to Ukraine since the war began, and his second visit to Ukraine by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. . Overall peace, and at least on specific issues. But none were clear.

Leaders who met in the western city of Lviv, far from the frontlines, expand prisoner exchanges, visit by UN nuclear expert We discussed arranging for And helping to secure Europe's largest nuclear power plant, ,is in the midst of heavy fighting, raising fears of catastrophe.

Ukraine's Zelenskyy holds talks with U.N chief, Turkish president over nuclear plant, grain exports
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at a joint press conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) and UN Secretary-General Antonio. (center). Guterres in Lviv, Ukraine, August 18, 2022.   Mykola Tys/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Erdogan has established himself as a mediator to stop the fighting. Turkey is a member of her NATO, but its volatile economy depends on Russia for trade and has tried to take the middle path between the two warring nations.

After the meeting, the Turkish president urged the international community not to abandon diplomatic efforts to end the war that has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced more than 10 million Ukrainians from their homes. asked.

He reiterated Turkey's willingness to act as "arbitrator and facilitator", adding: "I am confident that the war will end at the negotiating table."

In March Turkey hosted talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in Istanbul, but failed to end hostilities.

One of his main topics of talks in Lviv was the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. Moscow and Kyiv have accused each other of shelling the complex.

Zelensky accused the Kremlin of what he called a "nuclear threat" and demanded that Russian troops be withdrawn from the factory and allowed a team from the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency to enter.

"The area needs to be demilitarized and it needs to be told the truth. The potential victim in Zaporizhia is suicide," Guterres said at a press conference.

President Erdogan similarly expressed concern about the fighting in the vicinity of the plant, stating that he "wouldn't want to experience Chernobyl again." This is a reference to the world's worst nuclear accident in Ukraine in 1986.

Zelensky and the UN Secretary General agreed Thursday on arrangements for his IAEA mission to the nuclear power plant, according to the president's website. However, it was not immediately clear whether the Kremlin would agree to the terms. As for the withdrawal of troops, a Russian Foreign Ministry official previously said it would leave the factory "vulnerable".

Fears mounted on Thursday when Russian and Ukrainian officials accused each other and the other of plotting an attack on the site. Late Thursday, the city where the power plant is located was repeatedly shelled by Ukrainian forces, Russian officials reported.

File photo May 1, 2022 of his second reactor at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Energodar, Ukraine A Russian soldier stands guard outside. ANDREY BORODULIN/AFP/Getty

Guterres used the meeting in Lviv to replace Brazilian General Carlos dos Santos Cruz with the previously announced To the Olenivka prison, where 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed in a July explosion, which I appointed commander of the UN Fact-Finding Mission. Russia and Ukraine blame each other for the explosion.

Also on Thursday's agenda: Increased grain exportsEarlier this summer, the United Nations. Brokered a deal to clear the way for exports of the stranded 22 million tons of corn and other grains. But even with the agreement, Ukrainian crops would yield very little, about 600,000 tonnes by Turkey's estimate.

Zelensky said on Thursday that he had offered to increase shipments. Mr. Guterres praised the success of the venture, but added, "There is still a long way to go before this is reflected in people's daily lives at local bakeries and markets." At least 17 people were killed overnight in a fierce Russian missile attack on Ukraine's Kharkov region on the battlefield, Ukrainian officials said Thursday.

Russian forces attacked a foreign mercenary base in Kharkov, claiming 90 were killed. There was no immediate comment from the Ukrainian side.

In a recent incident in Russian territory near the border with Ukraine, an ammunition depot caught fire in a village in the Belgorod region, the regional governor said. No casualties were reported. A video posted online, which could not be verified, showed orange flames and black smoke along with multiple explosions.

Elsewhere, Russian officials reported that anti-aircraft defenses shot down drones near Berbek airfield in the Russian-occupied Crimea peninsula of Kerch and the Black Sea port of Sevastopol. . Explosions on the peninsula in recent weeks have destroyed fighter planes and caused other damage to military airfields.

Amid heightened international tensions, Russia has deployed fighter jets armed with state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles to the Kaliningrad region, an enclave surrounded by NATO members Lithuania and Poland. .

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