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Turkiye urges int’l community to ensure security at Zaporizhzhia NPP

25 August 2022 15:11 (UTC+04:00)
Turkiye urges int’l community to ensure security at Zaporizhzhia NPP

By News Center

Turkiye urges the international community to ensure security at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Yeni Shafak reports, citing Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin.

Kalin evaluated the latest developments regarding the Ukraine-Russia war in a program he attended on CNN International.

Kalin stated that the Turkish government is pleased to know that an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) delegation will visit the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant very soon.

"We also call on the international community to support this initiative to ensure security at and around the Zaporizhzhia NPP," Kalin stressed.

Regarding the news that Russia may escalate the tension by targeting civilian structures in Ukraine, Kalin said: "We are very concerned about any tension in any phase of the conflict."

He added that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in person and via phone.

“Of course, our president is in regular contact with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, to terminate the ongoing hostilities and to find a path to serious discussions that would result in a ceasefire, if not a direct comprehensive peace framework. We are working on it. But of course, we are extremely concerned about any escalation of violence that may occur in Kherson, Crimea, and Zaporizhzhia, or any part of Russian-occupied Ukraine," the spokesperson said.

He recalled that President Erdogan brought up the Zaporizhzhia NPP issue at the press conference with Zelensky and conveyed his concerns about the problem to Russia via different channels.

Kalin emphasized that Turkiye does not want the power plant to result in another Chernobyl tragedy.

“We have received news that President Zelensky is of course very worried about the current situation since the nuclear power plant is surrounded by Russian forces. But Ukrainian officials, technical teams, and ordinary security teams are also inside the nuclear power plant. The areas around the power plant are mined by Ukraine. That's why the situation is so critical right now and it could turn into a ticking time bomb. Therefore, we're trying to prevent that from happening, and we're negotiating with the Russians to withdraw their forces from the surrounding areas and create a de-escalation zone, a non-military zone around Zaporizhzhia so that the IAEA delegation can enter," Kalin stressed.

On whether Turkiye can turn the grain agreement into something that will restore confidence between Russians and Ukrainians and bring them back to the bargaining table, Kalin stated: "We think it's possible. We had this opportunity in March when the Russian and Ukrainian representatives met in Istanbul."

Kalin also added that the Russian and Ukrainian delegations agreed on many principles, although not all the details.

“Unfortunately, what occurred in Bucha (Ukraine) and other events, such as attacks, impeded further advancement. However, we still believe that the grain deal can serve as a platform to resume negotiations between Russia and Ukraine through the UN. But, of course, this does not just depend on Russians and Ukrainians, but also the international community's assistance is needed," he added.

The presidential adviser expressed optimism that the IAEA delegation will visit the NPP and report in a free and secure atmosphere.

"Hopefully this will give some kind of break or pause to the very tense situation in and around the nuclear power plant. Of course, no one wants to experience any nuclear disaster. I don't think the Russians would want that either, but of course, they surrounded the nuclear power plant. This is very critical and dangerous. That's why we do our best," he said.

Kalin emphasized that Turkiye’s position on the Crimea issue has remained unchanged since 2014, adding that it never recognized the annexation of Crimea, it was illegal, and the peninsula was legally and historically a part of Ukraine. Turkiye supports Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty and any solution to the war must be reached on the basis of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, he added.

Kalin said that focusing just on retaking Crimea without dealing with the war would not succeed in the current context. He stated that what is required is to find a way to cease the strikes on Ukrainian land before discussing how to disengage Russia from Ukraine.

Kalin pointed out that Crimea may be discussed after these, which is a more realistic and appropriate approach.

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