Putin, Scholz divided over how to ensure safety of Ukraine nuclear plant

The leaders of Russia and Germany remain divided over how to ensure the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine.

The German government says Chancellor Olaf Scholz had a 90-minute telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

The government says Scholz stressed that the safety of the plant needs to be ensured by immediately implementing measures recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The measures include an end to shelling in the area.

The Kremlin says Putin outlined the security measures that Russia has been taking in cooperation with the IAEA. The president reportedly claimed that the Ukrainian side has been doing the shelling.

The two leaders also discussed the suspension of natural gas supplies from Russia to Germany via the Nord Stream pipeline.

The Kremlin quoted Putin as saying that Western countries' sanctions on Russia are to blame for the pipeline interruptions. The president reportedly said that the sanctions interfere with the pipeline's "maintenance."