Since Thursday, the IAEA experts have been in the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, which is occupied by Russia, to assess damage – despite the dangerous situation, they were shown in pictures without protective vests and helmets. IAEA boss Rafael Grossi wrote on Friday night in the short message service Twitter that his organization was “here to stay” and to continue to be present. The nuclear power plant has come under fire again and again for months. Moscow and Kyiv blame each other for this.

Russia had shown itself open to a permanent IAEA mission at the power plant. Kyiv, on the other hand, insists on the complete withdrawal of Russian troops and a demilitarization of the power plant area, which Moscow rejects. The IAEA mission should represent the first step.

On Ukrainian television, Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko did not rule out that two of the IAEA experts could stay longer. “But for us it is more important in this context that the power plant comes back under the control of Ukraine,” he stressed. Selenskyj also once again called for the withdrawal of Russian troops during the night. This is the only way the nuclear power plant can work safely, he said.

According to Zelenskyj, Moscow prevented international media representatives from accompanying the nuclear experts. “Independent journalists. So that the world can see the truth.” Unfortunately, the “occupiers” would not have let any journalists in, he said in a video address published that night. When Grossi made a statement in front of the nuclear power plant on Thursday, Russian state television only showed microphones from Russian media. The IAEA boss later published his own video on Twitter.

Both Russian and Ukrainian officials praised the nuclear experts for their determination to visit the power plant despite the war. According to Ukrainian sources, there was another shelling in the vicinity of the visit. Internationally, there is great concern that a nuclear catastrophe could occur.

Before his visit to Germany, Ukrainian Prime Minister Schmyhal asked the federal government to use battle tanks to ward off the Russian attackers. “We need a change in the philosophy of arms deliveries. By that I mean: modern battle tanks should also be delivered,” said Schmyhal in the dpa interview. “We expect the USA to deliver their Abrams tanks to us and we expect Leopard 2 from Germany. These are the modern tanks that Ukraine needs on the battlefield.” Schmyhal is expected in Berlin on Saturday. On Sunday he will be received by Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Chancellery.

A freighter carrying grain from Ukraine ran aground in the Bosphorus Strait. The reason was a malfunction at the rudder, the state news agency Anadolu reported on Thursday evening. The strait was initially closed to shipping. The ship “Lady Zehma” has loaded 3,000 tons of corn and is on its way to Italy, according to the Istanbul-based control center for Ukrainian grain exports.

The Bosphorus and the Dardanelles are important thoroughfares connecting the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. According to Turkish authorities, more than 40,000 ships pass through the Bosphorus every year.

Agricultural exports via the Ukrainian Black Sea ports were blocked for months due to the Russian war of aggression. War opponents Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement separately with Turkey on July 22, through UN mediation, to allow grain exports from Ukraine from three ports. It is estimated that more than 20 million tons of grain products are stored in Ukraine.

Russia is pumping significantly less gas to Germany and only temporarily stopped gas supplies via the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1 on Wednesday. Nevertheless, Chancellor Scholz does not want to do without Russian gas completely. “We don’t do it on our own, I don’t think it’s that responsible,” said the SPD politician on Thursday at a citizens’ dialogue in Essen. But Germany is so well prepared that any backlash can be dealt with if Russia itself turns off the tap. “Even if things get really tight, we’ll probably get through the winter.”

The FDP parliamentary group wants to finally close the chapter on the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline. “As Free Democrats, we demand the dismantling of Nord Stream 2 and the fastest possible development of a concept for legal, technical and environmental protection,” says a position paper adopted at the autumn meeting in Bremen, which was available to the German Press Agency on Friday. The FDP parliamentary group wants to end all purchases of raw materials and energy from Russia and Belarus as quickly as possible, insofar as this is permitted by their own economic capacity to act.

The IAEA experts continue their work on the Zaporizhia power plant. It is also eagerly awaited whether Russia will resume gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in the Baltic Sea, as announced. She was stopped mid-week. The reason given by the Russian energy giant Gazprom was scheduled maintenance work. According to the state agency TASS, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said in the evening that he expected a resumption on Friday.