Biden speaks to Zelenskyy, discussed security & financial support for Ukraine


US President Joe Biden on Saturday spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy where they discussed security and financial support for Ukraine, the White House said. In a phone call with Zelenskyy, Biden highlighted the actions undertaken by the US and its allies to “raise the costs” on Moscow for its “aggression in Ukraine” and welcomed the decision of Visa and Mastercard, the leading global payments and technology companies, to suspend their operations in Russia. “President Biden noted his administration is surging security, humanitarian, and economic assistance to Ukraine and is working closely with Congress to secure additional funding,” the White House said in a statement.

The US President also reiterated his concern about Russia’s attack on the Ukrainian nuclear power plant while lauding the “skill and bravery” of the Ukrainian operation who have kept the reactors in a safe condition. A fire broke out in a training building of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine as shells hit the area early on Friday, triggering alarm around the world of a possible catastrophe before the fire was extinguished.

"The world narrowly averted a nuclear catastrophe last night," Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Ambassador to the United Nations, told an emergency meeting of the Security Council. "Russia’s attack last night put Europe’s largest nuclear power plant at grave risk. It was incredibly reckless and dangerous. And it threatened the safety of civilians across Russia, Ukraine and Europe," Thomas-Greenfield said.

Ukraine's nuclear regulator confirmed to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that two out of 6 reactors are working, and the radiation levels are normal.

"In regular updates to the IAEA, the Ukrainian regulatory authority and the plant management also confirmed that the technical safety systems were intact and radiation levels remained normal at Ukraine's largest nuclear power plant," IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said in a statement.

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