ZURICH, Oct 2 (Reuters) – The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog called for the release of the director-general of Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, saying his detention posed a threat to safety and security.
A Russian patrol detained Ihor Murashov on Friday, the state-owned company in charge of the plant said on Saturday, and the International Atomic Energy Agency said Russia had confirmed the move.
“IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi expressed the hope that Mr Murashov will return to his family safely and promptly and will be able to resume his important functions at the plant,” the agency tweeted late on Saturday.
The IAEA has been in contact with relevant authorities seeking clarifications on his temporary detention, which it said had a “very significant impact” on him and nuclear safety and security standards.
Grossi is expected to hold talks in Moscow and Kyiv next week on the creation of a protection zone around the Zaporizhzhia plant, the watchdog said on Saturday.
U.N. ship to deliver Ukrainian wheat to Somalia -ministry
Meanwhile, a fifth vessel chartered by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), NEW ISLAND, has arrived at Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Chornomorsk and will deliver Ukrainian wheat to Somalia, Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry said on Sunday.
Ukraine has already shipped wheat to Ethiopia, Yemen and Afghanistan under the programme.
Ukrainian grain exports have slumped since the start of the war because its Black Sea ports – a key route for shipments – were closed off, driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.
Three Black Sea ports were unblocked at the end of July under a deal between Moscow and Kyiv, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.
The ministry also said on Sunday that a total of 5.8 million tonnes of agricultural products had so far left Ukrainian ports under the U.N.-brokered deal. That includes some 114,700 tonnes which left Ukraine’s Black Sea ports on eight ships on Sunday.