Nfter the shelling of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant site, Russia and Ukraine blame each other. The largest nuclear power plant in Europe is located in the part of southern Ukraine occupied by Russian troops – there have already been dangerous situations there several times in the past months of the war.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj spoke of an “act of terrorism” by the Russian side and called for new sanctions aimed specifically at the neighboring country’s nuclear industry. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kyiv warned that if a reactor were hit while it was in operation, the possible consequences would be “tantamount to using an atomic bomb”.
Zelenskyj calls for new sanctions against Russia
“Anyone who creates nuclear threats for other peoples is definitely not in a position to use nuclear technology safely,” Zelenskyj said on Saturday night. Specifically, he demanded punitive measures against the Russian state-owned company Rosatom.
Just a few days ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expressed concern about the situation around the power plant, which, with six blocks and an output of 6,000 megawatts, is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. An inspection to check technical safety is urgently needed, said IAEA boss Rafael Grossi. But it is currently very difficult for the IAEA to even get into the war zone in Zaporizhia.
Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of shelling nuclear power plants
The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that parts of the city of Enerhodar, where the power plant is located, had lost power and water supplies – and blamed the Ukrainian army. In addition, a block of the nuclear power plant had to be partially shut down. The information could not be independently verified. The Ukrainian side, on the other hand, said the Russians had shelled the area themselves.
As a result of the Russian attacks, a high-voltage line to the neighboring thermal power plant was damaged, according to the Ukrainian state-owned nuclear company Enerhoatom. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has appealed to the international community to ensure that the Russians return control of the nuclear power plant to the Ukrainians.
Putin and Erdogan want to expand economic relations
At their meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on expanding economic relations between their countries. At the meeting on Friday in the southern Russian tourist metropolis of Sochi, “very important decisions” were made in the area of trade and the economy, said Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak. For example, the conditions for cooperation are to be made easier for Russian and Turkish companies.
What was eagerly awaited was whether Putin and Erdogan would talk about a possible acquisition of Turkish combat drones by Russia. In the course of its war against Ukraine, Moscow had recently expressed interest in the Bayraktar TB2 weapons. In the evening, however, journalists from the state news agency Ria Nowosti said that the two presidents had not addressed the issue.