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Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has come back online, the state operator Energoatom says, after Kyiv claimed it was cut from the national power grid by Russian shelling. online news
Europe’s largest nuclear facility was severed from Ukraine’s power network for the first time in its history on Thursday due to “actions of the invaders”, Energoatom said
As of 2:04 p.m. (1104 GMT) the plant “is connected to the grid and produces electricity for the needs of Ukraine” once again, it says.
Zaporizhzhia was seized by Russian troops early on in the war. In recent weeks, Kyiv and Moscow have blamed each other for rocket strikes around the facility in the southern Ukrainian city of Energodar.
“Russia has put Ukrainians as well as all Europeans one step away from radiation disaster,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said late Thursday in his nightly address.
Kyiv suspects Moscow intends to divert power from the Zaporizhzhia plant to the Crimean Peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014.
- EU sets energy crisis talks –
The Czech presidency of the European Union says it will convene urgent talks to deal with the current energy crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Prime Minister Petr Fiala says on Twitter the meeting of the 27-nation bloc’s energy ministers will “discuss specific emergency measures to address the energy situation.”
The move comes as the EU is trying to shed dependence on supplies of Russian oil and gas following the Ukraine invasion.
“We are in an energy war with Russia and it is damaging the whole EU,” Czech Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Sikela says on Twitter, saying the meeting should take place “at the earliest possible date”.
Reduced supplies and anxiety over the future have sparked rocket growth in energy prices across Europe. The announcement of the new meeting came as German and French electricity prices for 2023 soared to new records and EU members started to frame energy saving plans.
- Turkey meets Finland, Sweden on NATO bids –
Turkey says Sweden and Finland renewed their commitment to fight “terror” at the first meeting aimed at addressing Ankara’s conditions for accepting their NATO membership bids.
“Finland and Sweden have renewed their commitment to demonstrate full solidarity and cooperation with Turkey in the fight against all forms and manifestations of terror,” said a statement from Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, who attended the talks.
The two Nordic countries broke with decades-long military non-alignment and asked to join NATO after Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine.
Their bids have already been ratified by the United States and more than half of the 30 members of NATO. Each application must win unanimous consent from member states.
Only Turkey, a NATO member since 1952, has opposed their applications, demanding the extradition of militants from outlawed groups including the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and people implicated in a failed 2016 Turkish coup.
- Firm divests from Russian gas field –
French energy company TotalEnergies says it is divesting its stake in a Russian gas field that was reported this week to be providing fuel that ends up in Russian fighter jets.
The firm said it had signed a deal with its local Russian partner Novatek to sell its 49 percent in the Termokarstovoye gas field “on economic terms enabling TotalEnergies to recover the outstanding amounts invested in the field.”
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