German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull out his troops from Ukraine, as a counteroffensive by Kyiv's forces made swift progress.
Scholz in a 90-minute telephone call "urged" Putin to "come to a diplomatic solution as quickly as possible, based on a ceasefire, a complete withdrawal of Russian forces and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Ukraine," according to the chancellor's spokesman Steffen Hebestreit.
The chancellor also encouraged his Russian counterpart to stick to a deal allowing grain exports from Ukraine that Russia has repeatedly criticized.
Scholz told Putin "not to discredit and continue to fully implement" the grain deal in light of the stretched global food supply.
During the call, the German chancellor raised the question of security at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe's largest, which has been a focal point of fighting in recent weeks.
The German leader asked Putin to "avoid any escalation and implement in full the measures recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency."
The IAEA has called for a security zone to be set up around after a mission to the plant earlier this month.