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Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres will travel to Ukraine later this week amid the nation's war with Russia which had started in February 2022, a UN spokesperson said on Tuesday. While in Ukraine, Antonio Guterres will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

Antonio Guterres will also visit the Black Sea port of Odesa, where grain exports have resumed under a UN-brokered deal on Friday.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday that Antonio Guterres would meet Zelensky in Lviv in western Ukraine. During the meeting with Zelensky, Antonio Guterres are likely to discuss the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

The two leaders are also likely to discuss a possible political solution to the conflict with Russia.

Ukraine and Russia have been at war since 24 February after the latter announced a “special military operation" in the country, immediately followed by the invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine and Russia have blamed each other for shelling near the eastern Ukraine nuclear plant, which Russian forces took over in the early stages of their invasion. The plant is still being operated by Ukrainian technicians.

The United Nations has said it can help facilitate a visit by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to Zaporizhzhia from Kyiv, but Russia said any mission going through Ukraine's capital was too dangerous.

On Saturday, Antonio Guterres is likely to pay a visit to the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, which is made up of Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN officials, overseeing the Black Sea exports of grain and fertilizer from Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Moscow has blamed Ukraine for new explosions on Tuesday at a military base in the Russian-annexed Crimea region that is an important supply line for Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Crimea is the base of Russia's Black Sea Fleet and also popular in the summer as a holiday resort.

The explosions raised the prospect of new dynamics in the six-month-old war if Ukraine now has capability to strike deeper into Russian territory or pro-Kyiv groups are having success with guerrilla-style attacks.

(With agency inputs)

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