Putin, Macron discuss situation in Ukraine over phone

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron held a phone conversation to discuss the situation in Ukraine, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin stressed that “the systematic shelling by the Ukrainian military” of the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP) creates the danger of a large-scale catastrophe that could lead to vast radiation contamination, the statement added on Friday.

Ukraine and Russia have recently exchanged accusations over shellings on the Zaporizhzhia NPP, which is one of the largest atomic power complexes in Europe and generates a quarter of Ukraine’s total electricity, Xinhua news agency reported.

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In the phone call, the Russian and the French President noted the importance of sending an IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia NPP as soon as possible to assess the real situation on the spot, the statement said.

The Russian side confirmed its readiness to provide IAEA inspectors with necessary assistance, it added.

Putin also briefed Macron on the implementation of the grain export deal signed in Istanbul in July, underlining that there are still obstacles to the export of Russian food and fertilisers to world markets.

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