UN Chief to meet Ukraine, Turkish leaders

Shutterstock

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Ukraine on Thursday, with grain exports and concerns about the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to top the agenda.

The trilateral meeting marks Erdogan's first in-person discussion with Zelenskiy since Russia's invasion on February 24, although the Turkish leader has met Russian President Vladimir Putin twice in recent months.

The three leaders will hold a joint news conference after their meetings in Lviv, an important transit point for Ukrainian refugees heading west to Europe since the conflict began.

Guterres, who arrived in Lviv on Wednesday afternoon, plans on Friday to visit the Black Sea port of Odesa, where grain exports have resumed under a UN-brokered deal aimed at easing a worsening global food crisis.

On Saturday, he will travel on to the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul that is made up of Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN officials overseeing the Black Sea exports of Ukraine grain and fertilizer. 

Three Black Sea ports were unblocked last month under the new deal, making it possible to send hundreds of thousands of tonnes of Ukrainian grain to buyers.

Erdogan's office said he would address ways to increase exports of grain and steps that could be taken towards ending the war between Ukraine and Russia through diplomatic means.

Erdogan will also discuss "all aspects" of bilateral relations between Ankara and Kyiv during his meeting with Zelenskiy, his office said.

Turkey has criticised the Russian invasion and provided Ukraine with arms, including drones, while refusing to join the West in imposing sanctions on Russia - a stance it says has helped its mediation efforts reap results.

Another key topic will be the worrying situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Ukraine and Russia blame each other for shelling near the eastern Ukraine nuclear plant, which Russian forces took over in the early stages of what Moscow terms its "special military operation". The plant is still being operated by Ukrainian technicians.

Guterres, who last visited Ukraine in April, this week discussed the conditions for safe functioning of the nuclear plant with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, the Russian ministry said in a statement. 

The United Nations has said it can help facilitate a visit by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to Zaporizhzhia from Kyiv, but Russia said any mission going through Ukraine's capital was too dangerous.

More from International

  • Iran warns against retaliation as global powers urge restraint

    Iran warned Israel and the United States on Sunday of a much larger response if there is any retaliation for its mass drone and missile attack on Israeli territory overnight, as Israel said "the campaign is not over yet".

  • 99% of missiles and drones fired by Iran shot down, Israel says

    Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight, 99 per cent of which were shot down, the Israeli military said on Sunday, adding that the armed forces remained fully functional and were discussing follow-up options.

  • Indonesian landslides kill at least 14

    At least 14 people have been killed in landslides on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the country's disaster mitigation agency said on Sunday, with rescue efforts ongoing for those reported missing.

  • Israel says Hamas has rejected hostage, aid proposal

    Hamas has rejected the latest proposal for a deal to return Israeli hostages and Israel will continue to pursue its objectives in Gaza "with full force", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement on Sunday.

  • Sydney stabbings not a terrorist attack, police say

    The man who fatally stabbed six people in Sydney had mental health issues in the past and there was no indication ideology was a motive in the attack in one of the city's busiest shopping centres, police said on Sunday.

Coming Up on Dubai Eye

  • Nights on Dubai Eye 103.8

    11:00pm - 6:00am

    Dubai Eye complements the conversation with the music you love from the eighties, nineties and newer.

  • The Business Breakfast

    6:00am - 10:00am

    The Business Breakfast is the day’s must listen for the UAE’s business leaders, and those who aspire to be.

BUSINESS BREAKFAST LATEST

On Dubai Eye

  • Flying Taxis

    It sounds like an episode of The Jetsons, but the sight of flying taxis whizzing around our cities could be much closer than you think.

  • Tough penalties for deliberate tax evasion

    The UAE has said that tougher penalties will come into force from 1st August for not keeping proper corporate tax records.