LVIV | Ukrainian Presidents Volodymyr Zelensky and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres met in Lviv on Thursday to discuss the recent agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain, and the security of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. , whose fate worries the world.
President Zelensky said on Thursday that the visit to Lviv by his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a “powerful message of support” for his country .
In the morning, the Russian army assured that it had not deployed “heavy weapons” in and around the Zaporizhia power plant in southern Ukraine, the largest in 'Europe.
Ukraine, which refers to the presence of Russian “heavy weapons”, also accuses Russia of using the plant as a firing base on Ukrainian positions, which Moscow denies.
At the Conversely, Russia says that the Ukrainian soldiers want to fire their artillery at the power station and then accuse it of having caused a nuclear accident.
Occupied since the beginning of March, the power station has been the prey since the end of July bombings of which Moscow and Kyiv accuse each other.
The UN must “ensure the security of this strategic site, its demilitarization and its complete liberation from Russian troops”, Mr. Zelensky said in the afternoon, denouncing the “deliberate terror” provoked by Russia, which “can have major catastrophic consequences for the whole world”.
For his part, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced on Twitter that the director general of the International Agency for Atomic Energy (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, told him he was ready to go to the Zaporizhia power plant at the head of a delegation.
“He informed me that he was ready, at the invitation of Ukraine, to lead an IAEA delegation to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant” , underlined Mr. Kouleba.
The day before, the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, had deemed such an inspection of the IAEA “urgent”.
Fighting continues meanwhile in the Kharkiv region (north-east), where the Ukrainians have accused the Russians of having shelled residential areas, killing six there on Thursday, after 13 the previous evening, and dozens injured in total.
“Last night and this morning were the most tragic moments in Kharkiv since the beginning of the war,” said its mayor Igor Terekhov, signaling that Friday would be a day of mourning in tribute to the victims.
Located about forty kilometers from the Russian border, this city, the second largest in Ukraine, is regularly shelled by Russian soldiers, who have never succeeded to seize it. Hundreds of civilians were killed in this region, according to the authorities.
In the south, one person died and two others were injured and hospitalized after a strike in Mykolaiv, announced its mayor, Oleksandr Senkevych.
On the diplomatic front, Antonio Guterres has been in Ukraine since Wednesday , announced the Ukrainian president.
“We will work together to achieve the necessary results for Ukraine,” added Mr. Zelensky, who is calling for more financial and material aid for his country and tougher sanctions against Moscow.
The Zelensky meeting -Erdogan-Guterres intervenes against a background of increasing negotiations to allow the resumption of cereal exports from Ukraine, one of their main producers and exporters worldwide.
They were blocked for several months following the Russian invasion, raising the specter of a global food crisis.
In July, an agreement signed by Russia and Ukraine and validated by the United Nations and Turkey made it possible to resume these exports.
Mr. Erdogan, who is posing as a mediator on this subject, went to Russia in early August to talk about it with President Vladimir Putin.
A first humanitarian ship chartered by the UN, loaded with 23,000 tonnes of wheat, in this regard left Ukraine on Tuesday – in the direction of Ethiopia -.
On Thursday, a ship loaded with cereals sailed from this country, the 25th since the signing of the agreement, announced the Ukrainian port authorities.
In total, “more than 600,000 tons of Ukrainian agricultural products” have since transited through the “grain corridor” from the ports of Odessa, Pivdenny and Chornomorsk, they added.
A Russian ship carrying stolen Ukrainian grain has however arrived in Syria, said the Ukrainian embassy in Lebanon on Thursday, after several grain carriers caused controversy by landing in the country at war.
Ukraine regularly accuses Russia of looting grain warehouses after the invasion of its territory.
On Friday, Mr. Guterres plans to go to Odessa, then to Turkey to visit the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) which oversees the implementation of the agreement.
Russia also announced that it had deployed planes equipped with state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles on Thursday. in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave surrounded by NATO countries where the conflict in Ukraine has heightened tensions.