Odessa, Ukraine: Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to allow independent inspectors to Moscow-occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the French president’s office said on Friday. The transit dispute apparently settled when a US defense official said Ukrainian forces had stopped the Russian advance. “You see a complete and total lack of progress by the Russians on the battlefield,” the official said, speaking on the grounds of anonymity.

According to French President Emmanuel Macron’s office, Putin has “reconsidered” his request for the International Atomic Energy Agency to move to the Zaporizhia nuclear facility via Russia. Rafael Grossi “welcomed the recent statements showing that both Ukraine and Russia supported the IAEA’s objective of sending missions to nuclear power plants.”

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has urged the Moscow forces occupying Zaporizhia not to disconnect the facility from the power grid, potentially cutting supplies to millions of Ukrainians. Fighting rages around a Russian-controlled nuclear power plant, with both sides blaming each other for attacks, raising the prospect of a catastrophe worse than Chernobyl.

The Kremlin said Putin and Macron agreed that the IAEA should conduct an inspection “as soon as possible” to “assess the actual situation on the ground.” Putin also “underlined that the systematic shelling by Ukrainian forces on the territory of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant creates the danger of large-scale catastrophe,” the Kremlin added.

Guterres of Odessa

The warning comes a day after Turkish leaders Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Guterres met in the western Ukraine city of Lviv, warning of fighting and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urging the United Nations to secure the place. served.

“This summer may go down in the history of various European countries as one of the most tragic ever,” Zelensky said in his speech Friday night. “None of the world’s nuclear power plants have instructions that provide procedures in the event that a terrorist state targets a nuclear power plant.”

During a visit to the port south of Odessa on Friday, the UN Secretary-General said: “Obviously, the electricity from Zaporizhia is Ukrainian electricity. This principle must be fully respected.” It must be used by the Ukrainian people,” he told AFP in another comment.

On Thursday, Moscow said Kyiv was preparing a “provocation” at a site that would see Russia accused of “causing man-made disasters at factories”. But Kyiv claimed Moscow was planning a provocation and said Russian occupation forces had ordered most of their staff to stay home on Friday.

Guterres made more Ukrainian grain available to poor countries struggling with high food prices after signing a landmark deal with Russia last month to allow exports of Ukrainian grain. I visited Odessa as part of an effort to The deal, the only significant agreement between Russia and Ukraine since Moscow’s invasion in February, has so far seen 25 ships carrying about 600,000 tons of agricultural products shipped from three designated ports. Kyiv said he had left.

After Odessa, Guterres will head to Turkey to visit the Joint Coordination Center, which is tasked with overseeing the deal. The grain pact was maintained, but after nearly six months of fighting between U.S.-supplied Ukrainian and Russian forces, it provided little respite along the vast front lines.

The U.S. on Friday unveiled a new $775 million weapons package that includes more precision-guided missiles for the Himars system that would allow Ukraine to hit Russian targets far behind the front lines. The main means of Moscow forces is artillery fire, and recent shelling of the eastern Donetsk region, which has been partly controlled by Russian agents since 2014, has resulted in several deaths.

Ukrainian Amir Pablo Kirilenko said on social media on Friday that five people were killed and another 10 wounded in three settlements in the Russian attack. A strike early Friday morning in Kharkov, Ukraine’s second-largest city, killed one person and damaged schools and private businesses, said a regional chief. – AFP

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