HomeWorldUN chief, Vladimir Putin discusses war in Ukraine

UN chief, Vladimir Putin discusses war in Ukraine

Antonio Guterres says calling Russia’s president was a follow-up to his meeting with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky

Antonio Guterres says calling Russia’s president was a follow-up to his meeting with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin about exporting Russian fertilizer through Ukraine’s Black Sea ports to deal with the growing global food crisis that threatens multiple famines.

The UN chief said he also discussed security at Europe’s largest nuclear plant, where he said the bombing had stopped for the past three days, and the prisoners of war he wants to exchange.

Mr. Guterres told a news conference that Mr. Putin said he had appointed a fact-finding mission at the request of Russia and Ukraine to investigate the killings at Olenivka prison in a separatist region of eastern Ukraine on July 29, which took place there. Can go Whichever method we choose, and this is a very important aspect.” The warring nations accuse each other of carrying out the attack in which separatist officials and Russian officials said 53 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed and 75 wounded. Have become.

Mr Guterres said the call to Mr Putin was made after his meeting with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Lviv on 18 August and regular calls to Andrey Yermak, the head of Mr Zelensky’s office.

Mr Putin is not attending the annual gathering of world leaders at the UN General Assembly next week, which Mr Guterres said was taking place at a “time of great crisis”. “Our world is plagued by war, plagued by climate anarchy, hurt by hatred, and ashamed of poverty, hunger and inequality,” the secretary general said.

The war dragging down the global economy

The war in Ukraine is not only ravaging the country but dragging down the global economy, Mr Guterres said, and hopes of a peace deal are “minimal”. “I’d be lying if I said I expected it to happen soon,” he said. Despite a July 22 deal to start shipping Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports and getting Russian food and fertilizers to global markets, Mr Guterres said, “this year is at risk of several famines.”

The Secretary-General said that high prices for fertilizer have already reduced the planting of food crops, which is why it is important to increase Russian exports of ammonia – a major component of fertilizers – and possibly negotiate through shipping. Black Sea port which is currently being used to send grain from Ukraine.

UN trade chief Rebecca Grinspan, who leads a team trying to facilitate free global access to Russian food and fertilizer, told reporters on Tuesday that Russia registered a 12% increase in food exports from June to July. of being covered by the agreement, but fertilizer exports is still down, there are still issues with insurance, financing and shipping.

Mr Guterres said he discussed with Mr Putin the “dramatic situation in fertilizer” and the obstacles to ammonia shipping from Russia.

“We are risking a shortage of the fertilizer market,” the UN chief said. “We have news from different parts of the world that cultivated areas are much smaller than in the previous cycle, which means we risk a real food shortage in 2022.” “Therefore, it is absolutely necessary at the present time to remove the constraints that still exist with respect to the export of Russian fertilizers,” he said.

Ms Grinspan, who chairs the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, said the planting season in the Northern Hemisphere requires fertilizer until the latest October and November.

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant issue

On the issue of Europe’s largest Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog said on Monday that he has begun consultations with Ukraine and Russia on their call for a “nuclear security and security zone”. . Convenience, and the interest of both parties appears.

International Atomic Energy Agency director general Rafael Grossi said both sides are interested.

He made the offer last week after leading a team of inspectors at the nuclear plant and leaving two of them to oversee its safety. The plant is occupied by Russian forces, but since the beginning of the war it has been operated by Ukrainian employees.

The Zaporizhzhia plant was reconnected to Ukraine’s power grid over the weekend, allowing engineers to shut down its last operational reactor in an effort to avoid disaster as fighting raged in the area.

Mr Guterres said that according to his latest information, electricity is being provided to cool the reactors and guarantee other needed electricity.

“We’ve been without a bombing for three days now,” he said. “I hope that such attacks will stop, and I hope that the security of the nuclear power plant will be fully respected, at all costs, and fully respected by the parties.”

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