August 9, 2022

Putin and Erdogan call for ‘full implementation’ of UN-backed grain deal


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Friday for the “full implementation” of a UN-backed deal to resume grain shipments from Ukrainian Black Sea ports after a four-hour meeting in the Russian resort of Sochi. Moscow and Kyiv earlier traded blame for strikes at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Read about the day’s events as they unfolded. All times are Paris time (GMT+2). 

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10:24pm: Zelensky says Russia responsible for strikes at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plantUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday Russia must take responsibility for an “act of terror”, after Kyiv and Moscow traded blame for strikes at Europe’s largest nuclear plant.

Russia earlier accused Kyiv’s forces of striking Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and charged that Zelensky’s government was committing acts of “nuclear terrorism”.

“Today, the occupiers have created another extremely risky situation for all of Europe: They struck the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant twice,” Zelensky said in his daily video address. “Any bombing of this site is a shameless crime, an act of terror.”

“This is also an argument in favour of applying tough sanctions against the entire Russian nuclear industry – from (Russia’s state-run nuclear company) Rosatom to all related companies and individuals.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) this week said that the situation at the nuclear power plant was “volatile”.

Russian troops took control of the Zaporizhzhia plant in March.

7:50pm: Putin, Erdogan call for ‘full implementation’ of UN-backed grain deal, no mention of Ukraine war in post-talks statement Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on Friday to boost cooperation in the transport, agriculture, finance and construction industries, they said in a joint statement after a four-hour meeting. 

Turkey mediated a deal signed by Ukraine, Russia and the United Nations in Istanbul last month under which grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports resumed after months of being blocked.  

While Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine was not explicitly mentioned in the statement, the leaders stressed the resumption of grain shipments, pointing to the two countries’ “constructive relations” that they stressed made the agreement possible. 

In the statement, Putin and Erdogan stressed the need for “the full implementation of the Istanbul agreement”. 

The two leaders also agreed to switch part of the payments for Russian gas to roubles, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told reporters after the talks. 

Putin and Erdogan also “reaffirmed their determination to act in coordination and solidarity in the fight against all terrorist organisations” in Syria. 

Ankara has carried out multiple operations in northern Syria since 2016, seizing hundreds of kilometres of land and targeting the Kurdish YPG militia, despite opposition from Moscow. 

7:12pm: Russia says it will impose entry bans on 62 Canadians in retaliatory moveRussia said on Friday it was imposing entry bans on 62 Canadian citizens including government officials in a retaliatory move.

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that the list included figures known for “their malicious activity in the fight against the ‘Russian world’ and our traditional values”.

7:02pm: Ukrainian power company says Russian shelling hit high-voltage line at nuclear plant; Moscow-backed authorities blame UkraineUkraine’s Energoatom state nuclear power company said a high-voltage power line at its Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant had been hit by Russian shelling on Friday, but that the plant still worked and no radioactive discharges had been detected.

The plant is in Russian-controlled territory.

The statement came shortly after the Russian-installed administration of the occupied Ukrainian city of Enerhodar said power lines at the plant had been damaged by a Ukrainian strike.

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