Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking after holding talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, says he plans to discuss the issue of Ukraine's Russian-held Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
Talking to journalists on his return to Turkey from Ukraine on August 19, Erdogan called the situation around the Zaporizhzhya station -- Europe's largest nuclear plant -- "a threat for the world."
Erdogan added that Zelenskiy said during their talks in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv the day before with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that he wanted Russia to demine the area around the nuclear power station.
"We will discuss this issue with Mr. Putin, and we will ask him specifically for this so that Russia does its part in this regard as an important step for world peace. [Russians] need to take this step. Ukraine has both its own technical staff and its own military forces in Zaporizhzhya. And they are capable of securing safety with their technical staff and solders there," Erdogan said.
On August 18, Erdogan warned that "we don't want another Chernobyl."
Ukraine's state nuclear company Enerhoatom on August 19 accused Russian forces of planning to switch off the functioning power blocks at the plant and to disconnect them from the Ukrainian power grid.
It said the move was part of a "large-scale provocation" being planned by Moscow, which itself accused Kyiv of preparing a "provocation" at the site.
Speaking in the Black Sea port of Odesa on August 19, Guterres stressed that electricity generated by the plant belonged to Ukraine and called on Russia not to cut the plant off from the country's electrical grid.
"It is necessary especially during the winter for the Ukrainian people," Guterres said. "That principle must be fully respected."
On August 18, after talks with Erdogan and Guterres, Zelenskiy said he agreed to the parameters of a mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant.
A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman called the plan to demilitarize the zone around the plant "unacceptable," saying it would make the plant even more vulnerable to attack.
Russia doesn't deny it has troops located at the plant but has disputed claims it has shelled the area. Instead, Moscow blames Ukrainian forces for firing artillery shells in the area, which officials in Kyiv deny.
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