Zaporijia power plant: the Turkish president offers his mediation to resolve the crisis | War in Ukraine

Central Zaporijia: the Turkish president offers his mediation to resolve the crisis | War in Ukraine

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin Turkey's mediation in the nuclear power plant crisis from Zaporizhia (Archives).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday offered his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin the mediation of Turkey to help resolve the crisis surrounding the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia, occupied by Russian troops.

During a telephone conversation between the two men, President Erdogan said that Turkey can play a facilitating role regarding the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, as it did for the agreement on cereals in July, the Turkish presidency said in a statement.

The Kremlin has confirmed a discussion between MM. Putin and Erdogan, indicating that the two leaders had confirmed their intention to increase their economic and commercial ties, in particular via joint strategic projects in the field of energy.

The statement from the Turkish presidency does not specify whether Ankara has also formally offered its mediation to Ukraine.

Turkey intends to present a proposal providing, as it did for the grain agreement, the creation in Istanbul of an office dedicated to dialogue between international organizations, Russia and Ukraine to find a point of agreement on the issue of technical control and inspections of the plant.

Turkey has good relations both with Moscow than with kyiv. While Ankara provided Ukraine with military drones, it refused to join the Western sanctions decreed against Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.

In July, an agreement between Russia and Ukraine obtained following Turkish mediation allowed the resumption of Ukrainian wheat exports hampered by the maritime blockade imposed by Moscow on kyiv in the Black Sea.

The situation of the Zaporizhia power plant (south), the largest in Europe, which fell into the hands of Russian troops in March shortly after Moscow launched its invasion of the x27;Ukraine, worries many international leaders.

The two belligerents accuse each other of having carried out the bombardments which targeted its site, and of risking triggering a nuclear catastrophe.

In its daily update on operations in Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that troops in Moscow had repelled an attempted amphibious assault by Ukrainian forces the day before. According to him, the latter would have once again tried to seize the plant.

On Friday, kyiv said it had hit a Russian base in Energodar, a town near the plant, from where it accuses Russia of having withdrawn its armaments before its inspection Thursday by a International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team.

During a meeting in Lviv (western Ukraine) with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr. Erdogan was worried on August 19 about a possible nuclear disaster in the event of damage in these facilities. We don't want another Chernobyl, he said, referring to the 1986 nuclear accident in Ukraine.

On Thursday, after inspecting Zaporizhia with a team from his organization, IAEA director Rafael Grossi said he found that the plant's physical integrity had been repeatedly violated. This is something that cannot continue to happen, he added, without naming the responsible party.

On the equally thorny issue of gas, the x27;European Union said on Saturday that it was ready to resist a total cut in Russian gas. She was reacting to the announcement by the Russian group Gazprom that it will extend the suspension of its exports to Europe via the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

We are well prepared to resist Russia's extreme use of the gas weapon, said EU Economics Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni.

“We are not afraid of Putin's decisions. We ask the Russians to respect the contracts, but if they don't, we are ready to react. »

— Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for the Economy

According to Gazprom, Nord Stream, which connects Russia to northern Germany and which was to resume service this Saturday after a three-day interruption for maintenance operations, must finally be completely stopped until repairs of a turbine. The Russian group has not specified a date for the resumption of its deliveries through this channel.

Gazprom's announcement fell after the decision announced on Friday by the G7 countries to target Russia's energy windfall by agreeing to cap the price of its oil.

On Friday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen estimated that ;it is time to put a cap on the price of gas imported by pipeline from Russia, thus supporting a measure advocated by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

In the In the European Union, gas stocks are currently around 80% replenished, thanks to the diversification of suppliers, even if the situation varies from one country to another, indicated Mr. Gentiloni.

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