Ahead Of The Harsh Winter
During his visit to Ukraine in the third week of August (2022), UN Secretary-General António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres warned the global community, saying that any damage to the Nuclear Plant in Zaporizhzhia would be Suicidal.
Although the UN has failed to ensure Global Peace since the end of the Second World War, the chief of the World Body is trying hard to stop the war between Ukraine and Russia. On August 18, Guterres held a meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in the presence of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, mainly to discuss how to stop the war diplomatically. They further discussed how to continue food exports from Ukraine, considered as the breadbasket of Europe.
Meanwhile, one of the most important topics of their discussion was the security of the nuclear power plant in the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia, situated on the banks of the Dnieper River. Russia has been occupying the plant since the outbreak of war on February 24, 2022. The Russian forces targetted the area many a time in the last six months, with a missile crashing very close to the plant a couple of months ago. Despite being occupied by Russia, the plant is kept active by the Ukrainian officials who are still working there. Although the Kremlin has accused Kiev of carrying out the attack, Ukraine has rejected the allegation, stating that it is not possible for the Ukrainian forces to attack the plant, as Russia has set up a military base near it. Interestingly, all these are happening ahead of the winter, when entire Europe would require a steady supply of power in order to keep people warm.
After attending the meeting in Lviv, Turkish President Erdoğan stressed: “We are worried. We don’t want another Chernobyl.” He also assured his Ukrainian counterpart Zelenskyy that Ankara was a firm ally of Kiev, mentioning: “While continuing our efforts to find a solution, we remain on the side of our Ukraine friends.“
For his part, the UN Chief said that he was gravely concerned about the situation near the plant. Guterres told the media that the area should be demilitiarised, adding: “We must tell it like it is – any potential damage to Zaporizhzhia is suicide.“
Although Turkey and Russia have always been opponents from a geopolitical point of view, President Erdoğan maintains a close working relationship with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The two leaders recently met in Sochi to discuss the current political situation in Ukraine. The Turkish President has also been seen playing an important role as a mediator between Moscow and Kiev. It may be noted that Erdoğan and Guterres were the key brokers to a deal inked in Istanbul in July, allowing for the resumption of grain exports from Ukraine after the Russian invasion blocked essential global supplies.
Ahead of the UN Chief’s arrival in Lviv, the Ukrainian port authority announced that the 25th cargo ship, under the deal, had departed for Egypt with 33,000 tonnes of grain. Ukraine and Russia are two of the world’s biggest grain exporters.
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