Contents of Putin call with UN chief revealed
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres by phone on Wednesday, the Kremlin said in a statement. Global food security, the grain deal and conflict in Ukraine were the main points of focus of the conversation.
Guterres told Putin about the measures the UN is taking to lift any restrictions on exports of Russian agriculture goods and fertilizers. Moscow and the UN agreed to further “closely cooperate” to ensure international food security, the statement said.
Also discussed was the situation around the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, the largest of its kind in Europe, which is located in Ukraine but has been controlled by Russia since March.
Moscow has repeatedly accused Kiev’s forces of shelling the grounds of the plant, warning that such actions could lead to a Chernobyl-scale nuclear catastrophe. Kiev has denied the accusations and instead blamed Russia for the incidents at the facility, despite the area already being under Moscow’s control.
On Wednesday, Putin welcomed the efforts of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, aimed at contributing to the plant’s security and told Guterres about the measures Russia had been taking to ensure its safety. The IAEA sent a mission to the plant on September 1.
The two also discussed a UN fact-finding mission that is expected to investigate the July strike on a detention center housing Ukrainian POWs near the settlement of Yelenovka in the Donetsk People's Republic.
Moscow blamed Kiev for the attack that left 50 prisoners dead and another 73 injured. Kiev denied the accusations, claiming that Russian troops had launched the strike to frame Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry invited experts from the UN and International Red Cross Committee to carry out an impartial investigation. On Wednesday, Guterres told Putin that the UN is still conducting “active preparation” for the mission, according to the Kremlin.