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UN chief meets with leaders of Ukraine, Turkiye, calls for demilitarization of Zaporizhzhia plant Updated: 2022-08-19 13:58:56 KST

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling for Russian military forces to leave a nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which both sides in the war have accused each other of shelling.
He said damaging the plant would be suicide.
Russia has rejected the demand, though, saying that to give up control of the plant would make it more vulnerable than it already is.
Kim Hyo-sun has more.

UN chief Antonio Guterres met with leaders of Ukraine and Turkiye on Thursday, where he called for the demilitarization of the vast nuclear power plant held by Russia in southern Ukraine.

"In between, military equipment and personnel should be withdrawn from the plant. Further deployment of forces or equipment to the site must be avoided. The area needs to be demilitarized. We must tell it like it is any potential damage to Zaporizhzhia is suicide."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the UN to ensure security at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

"We agreed with the (United Nations General) secretary on a possible mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in a legal way, via territory free from occupiers."

He also called for Moscow to immediately withdraw its forces from the facility.
President Erdogan of Turkiye, stressed that his country would help with the reconstruction of Ukraine.
He also added that Turkiye will make efforts to end the conflict in a diplomatic manner.
Responding to the remarks, Russia's foreign ministry dismissed the proposal to remove military forces from the plant and surrounding area.

"Kyiv has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to stage provocations and its lack of ability to control nationalist formations. This is the same reason why the proposals to demilitarize the zone around Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant are unacceptable. The implementation of these proposals will make the plant even more vulnerable."

Meanwhile, Moscow also explained on Thursday that it would only use nuclear weapons in (quote) "emergency circumstances," adding that it has no interest in staging a direct confrontation with NATO or the U.S.
Russia's Defense Minister went on to say that there's no need for the country to use its nuclear arsenal during its military campaign against Ukraine.
The ministry also announced Thursday that it had deployed 3 fighter jets equipped with hypersonic missiles to the country's Kaliningrad region.
The region, located in the Baltic Sea, borders Poland and Lithuania, which are NATO member-states.
Moscow added that the latest move comes as part of additional measures of strategic deterrence.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.
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