“We are worried. We don’t want another Chernobyl,” Erdogan said after negotiations in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, referring to the 1986 reactor accident. Guterres was “very worried” about the situation at the Zaporizhia plant, the largest nuclear power plant. He again called for a demilitarization of the plant. “Any possible damage” to the facility would be “suicide,” he warned.
The repeated bombing of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine – for which Ukraine and Russia bear responsibility – has stoked fears of a nuclear incident for days. The plant has been occupied by Russian troops since early March.
Prior to Zelenskyy’s meeting with Erdogan and Guterres, Russia had denied the placement of heavy weapons near the nuclear plant and stressed that “only guards” were there. For its part, the Defense Ministry in Moscow accused Kyiv of preparing a “provocation” at the nuclear power plant during Guterres’ visit to Ukraine, only to later be able to accuse Moscow of “creating a man-made catastrophe”.
Zelenskyy said in Lviv that he saw Erdogan’s visit as a “strong sign of support” for Ukraine. However, he ruled out a peace deal with Moscow as long as Russia does not completely withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory. “People who kill, rape and attack our cities with cruise missiles every day cannot want peace,” the Ukrainian president said. “You have to leave our territory first, then we’ll see.”
Erdogan announced that Turkey would continue its “efforts to find a solution” to the conflict. Turkey remains “on the side of our Ukrainian friends,” he stressed. The Turkish head of state has given himself the role of mediator in the conflict in Ukraine. In July, his government, together with the UN, negotiated agreements to resume grain exports from Ukrainian ports.
According to Ukrainian sources, the 25th ship carrying Ukrainian grain left on Thursday since the agreement came into force. Since then, “more than 600,000 tons of agricultural products from Ukraine” have been transported from the ports of Odessa, Pivdennji and Chornomorsk through the “grain corridor”.
Guterres said in Lviv that the UN would try to increase Ukrainian grain exports before winter. Because of the Russian war of aggression in late February, all grain exports from Ukraine from its Black Sea ports were blocked for months, which contributed to a global food crisis.
Just hours before Guterres and Erdogan arrived in Lviv, authorities said five people had been killed and another 20 injured in Russian rocket attacks on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and nearby Krasnograd on Thursday morning. -fair. In southern Ukraine, one person died in an attack on the city of Mykolayiv, which was regularly bombed. According to Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych, two other people were injured.