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Zelenskyy calls on UN to ‘ensure security’ of nuclear plant

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday called on the United Nations to ensure security at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, where increased fighting has raised fears of a nuclear incident.

“The UN must ensure the security of this strategic object, its demilitarization and complete liberation from Russian troops,” Zelenskyy said in a statement after meeting UN chief Antonio Guterres in Lviv.

The Ukrainian leader also criticized “deliberate” Russian attacks on the facility.

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Ukraine and Russia have been accusing each other of targeting the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant -- the biggest in Europe -- which Russia seized last March.

Tensions around the power plant have fueled global fears of a nuclear disaster.

The two leaders also discussed grain exports, after a deal brokered by the UN and Turkey allowed their resumption this month.

Exports had been blocked following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

“We agreed to continue the coordination of the grain initiative implementation. We also discussed the possible directions of its development,” Zelenskyy said.

The first ship to depart under the deal left Ukraine on August 1. Since then, 25 cargo ships have sailed from Ukrainian ports.

Russia and Ukraine are two of the world's biggest grain exporters. The halt of exports led to price increases globally amid fears of widespread food shortages, particularly in poor countries.

Zelenskyy and Guterres also spoke about deportations of Ukrainians to Russia, and about the release of military staff and medics taken prisoner by Russia, according to Zelenskyy.

Read more:

Ukraine carries out emergency drills near nuclear plant on frontline

Ukraine targets Russian soldiers threatening Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Russia says it may shut down Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant if shelling continues

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