ZNPP security zone critical, Latvia blocks Russian fertilizers: MFA
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister condemns the Western allegations about the use of Iranian drones in Russia and mentions the blocked fertilizers in Latvia.
The claims made by Western nations that Iran provides drones to Russia for use on the territory of the Ukrainian SSR are unfounded, said Sergey Vershinin, the Russian Federation's Deputy Foreign Minister, to RIA Novosti.
He claims that Western nations are making an attempt to defend their own unauthorized arms transfers to Kiev in this manner. They discredit themselves as conscientious JCPOA participants by engaging in such behavior.
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“The co-authors of the politically motivated stuffing about the alleged deliveries of unmanned aerial vehicles from Iran to Russia deep down themselves understand the hopelessness of their efforts," Vershinin explained.
Protective zone around Zaporozhye NPP must be built
According to Vershinin, it is critical to reach an agreement on the establishment of a security zone around the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (NPP) as soon as possible, and Moscow is in contact with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the matter.
"Negotiations are continuing on the creation of an operational and physical nuclear safety zone around the Zaporozhye NPP. We are in close contact with the IAEA secretariat and personally with the agency's director general, Rafael Grossi, on this issue. We share his opinion that this must be done as soon as possible," he said.
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The leadership of the agency's secretariat is in dialogue with Kiev, Vershinin said, adding that Moscow was making every effort to reach an agreement.
The Zaporozhye NPP, located on the left bank of the Dneper River, is Europe's largest nuclear power plant in terms of the number of units and output.
During Russia's military operation in Ukraine, the nuclear plant and surrounding area came under Russian control and have since been shelled numerous times by Ukrainian forces.
Read next: IAEA to continue consultations to secure zone around ZNPP
An international mission led by the IAEA chief visited the plant from August 31 to September 5. IAEA observers have stayed at the plant on a rotational basis. Following the visit by the mission, the IAEA published a report in which it confirmed the shelling of the Zaporozhye NPP.
Russian fertilizers for countries in need are blocked in Latvia: MFA
Latvia continues to block the shipment of Russian fertilizers to poor countries for political reasons, Vershinin told RIA Novosti.
He clarified that due to Western sanctions, approximately 280,000 of such products are currently stranded in Latvian, Estonian, Belgian, and Dutch ports.
“It must be emphasized that we are talking about free deliveries of our products to those in need – while we cover absolutely all the costs of transporting and delivering goods,” the diplomat said.
Vershinin noted that it had previously taken more than two months to clear a 20,000-tonne shipment from the Netherlands to Malawi. The delivery date, according to him, is November 21. At the same time, the deputy head of the department emphasized that the majority of domestic fertilizers remain idle in Latvia.
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Meanwhile, as reported by Parliamentskaya Gazeta, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov commented on the words of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who had previously said that Moscow was using food as a weapon on the world stage.
Such a perception of Russian actions is fundamentally incorrect because Moscow does not interfere with any supplies and is willing to continue them if the corresponding restrictions are lifted by Western countries, according to Peskov.
Read next: UN, Russia grain, fertilizer exports talks end without breakthrough