© Reuters. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy arrives for an interview with Reuters, amid Russia’s assault on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine September 16, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
By Tom Balmforth
KYIV (Reuters) -Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated on Friday he would solely again the concept of reopening Russian ammonia exports via Ukraine if Moscow handed again prisoners of conflict (POWs), an concept the Kremlin shortly rejected.
In an interview, Zelenskiy advised Reuters he had proposed the association to the United Nations, which has advised resuming Russian ammonia throughout Ukraine to ease a world scarcity of fertiliser.
“I’m towards supplying ammonia from the Russian Federation via our territory. I’d solely do it in change for our prisoners. That is what I supplied the UN,” he stated in an interview at his presidential workplace.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the concept, TASS information company reported. “Are individuals and ammonia the identical factor?” it cited him as saying.
The United Nations has proposed that ammonia fuel owned by Russian fertiliser producer Uralchem be pumped by pipeline to the Ukrainian border, the place it will be purchased by the U.S.-based commodities dealer Trammo.
The pipeline is designed to pump as much as 2.5 million tonnes of ammonia per yr from Russia’s Volga area to Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Pivdennyi, generally known as Yuzhny in Russian, close to Odesa.
It was shut down after Russia despatched its troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Zelenskiy stated that tons of of Russian troops had been captured throughout Ukraine’s lightning counteroffensive in northeast Ukraine’s Kharkiv area.
He stated, nonetheless, that Russia was holding extra Ukrainian troopers in custody than Ukraine had Russian POWs.
The destiny of Ukrainian troopers held by Russia, and particularly these captured after holding out for months within the Azovstal steelworks within the besieged metropolis of Mariupol, is a extremely delicate concern in Ukraine.
A few of their family members have been huddled on Friday exterior the federal government district in Kyiv the place Zelenskiy’s workplace is situated, holding indicators saying “Deliver the Azovstal Heroes House”.