Two IAEA employees will remain permanently at the occupied Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant

Today, Moscow again accused Ukraine of attacks on facilities, which it says are nuclear terrorism. The Ukrainian state company Enerhoatom, on the other hand, accuses Russia of manipulating and distorting the real state of affairs at the facility at a time when IAEA experts are still on site.

The UN agency’s mission arrived on Thursday after lengthy negotiations to gain access to the shelled facility, which is the largest of its kind in Europe. In the evening, part of the delegation went back to the territory under the control of Kyiv. Ulyanov said today that six IAEA security experts will remain at the power plant for a few more days.

“Two people will remain permanently at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. We welcome this, as the international presence was called to put the truth to numerous speculations about the state of affairs at the NPP,” Ulyanov said.

The security situation around the power plant, which has been occupied by Russia almost since the beginning of its invasion of Ukraine, remains unclear. Both sides repeatedly accuse each other of shelling. Today, according to the Interfax agency, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu rejected Ukraine’s claim that Russia had placed heavy weapons in and around the power plant.

“I hope that the IAEA committee will see for itself,” Shoigu said, according to which the Ukrainians are attacking the facility and Kyiv is thereby “creating a real threat of a nuclear catastrophe in Europe.”

Ukraine regularly rejects this version of events. “The occupiers are lying, distorting facts and evidence about the fact that they are shelling the power plant and about the consequences of damage to the infrastructure of the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant,” Enerhoatom said in a telegram. According to the company, the Russians did not allow members of the IAEA delegation to enter the crisis center of the power plant, where Russian soldiers are deployed, which the inspectors were not supposed to see.

Russia’s manipulation poses a risk for an independent assessment of the situation at the facility, Enerhoatom wrote. However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said today that the mission can be important despite the difficulties that the Russians are causing on the ground.

“We did everything to ensure the IAEA’s access to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, and I believe that the mission can still play an important role,” Zelenskyy said, according to Reuters.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, who led a delegation to the plant, said on Thursday that the physical integrity of the facility had been intentionally and accidentally violated several times. “I have and will continue to be concerned about the plant until the situation is more stable and predictable,” Grossi said, adding that his team managed to get “a lot” of information during the several-hour visit.

Source: EuroZprá by

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