Ukrainian president, UN chief meet on grain exports, situation at Zaporizhzhia NPP

By Xinhua
On 19 août 2022 at 07:10

KIEV, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday met with visiting United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to discuss grain exports from Ukraine and the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP), the presidential press service reported.

At the meeting in Ukraine’s western city of Lviv, Zelensky hailed the UN’s positive role in resuming grain exports from Ukraine and stressed Kiev’s readiness to guarantee global food security.

Zelensky and Guterres agreed to continue the coordination on the grain initiative implementation and emphasized the importance of increasing the number of vessels exporting foodstuffs from Ukraine.

The parties also talked about the UN’s role in ensuring security at the Zaporizhzhia NPP and stressed the need for the demilitarization of the plant.

Another topic of the discussion was the release of Ukrainian military personnel and medics taken captive during the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Guterres arrived in Ukraine on Wednesday. Later on Thursday, Zelensky and Guterres are set to hold a tripartite meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On July 22, Ukraine signed a deal with Türkiye and the UN in Istanbul to resume food and fertilizer shipments from Ukrainian ports to international markets via the Black Sea. The same agreement was signed by Russia.

Last week, Ukraine and Russia exchanged accusations over a strike on the Zaporizhzhia plant, which is one of the largest atomic power complexes in Europe and generates a quarter of Ukraine’s total electricity.

On Aug. 11, Ukraine called for an international mission under the leadership of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), involving UN experts, to visit the plant to assess the threats to nuclear safety.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) meets with visiting United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Ukraine's western city of Lviv, Aug. 18, 2022. (Ukrainian presidential office/Handout via Xinhua)