Russia and Ukraine played the blame game over recent attacks on the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. The plant is located in Ukraine but has been occupied by Russian forces for months. North Korea announced its possible involvement in the war, as well.
Russian officials accused Ukraine today of committing nuclear terrorism. Ukraine previously called for a demilitarized zone around the plant.
This weekend’s shelling caught international attention. The head of the United Nations has asked for nuclear inspectors to be given access to the plant and issued a stern warning.
“I believe this is the moment when the risk of a nuclear confrontation is back, something that we have forgotten for decades,” António Guterres, U.N. Secretary General, said. “This is the moment, as I said, to ask the nuclear armed countries to commit to the principle of non-first use.”
Russian state media reported North Korea has offered 100,000 volunteer troops to fight on Russia’s behalf to defeat Ukraine.
Amid an ongoing, ugly war, the world is dependent on grain exports out of Ukraine. The exports have been in limbo since the war began. After Russia and Ukraine struck a deal on exporting grain, nearly 60,000 metric tons of corn started arriving at their destination in Turkey. Officials hailed the arrival of the first of several ships today as the latest step in staving off a global food crisis. Russian and Ukrainian officials announced the deal last week on the heels of world food commodity prices dropping significantly last month.
“Lower crude oil prices are also a welcome sign, which could lead to a considerable downward pressure on food commodities,” Maximo Torero, chief economist, said. “But uncertainties over gas availability, which prices are still increasing, are important and could destabilize still the fertilizer market and the food supplies.”
The grain deal between Ukraine and Russia authorized 12 ships to sail.