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UN reports progress on Zaporozhye nuclear plant talks

Moscow, Kiev and IAEA “are moving closer” to creating a protection zone around the facility, the nuclear watchdog’s chief said

Talks in consultation with Russia and Ukraine to ensure the safety of Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant are making some headway, Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said on Friday.

Commenting on what he called “an intensive week of consultations” with Moscow and Kiev, the IAEA chief wrote in his Twitter that the sides are “moving closer to the establishment of a protection zone for Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant.”

He went on to say that the situation at the plant is “untenable” and that all the negotiating parties “need immediate action to protect it.”

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The statement comes on a week when Grossi met with Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry Dmitry Kuleba as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the safety at Zaporozhye NPP, which has been under Russian control since March. At the time, Putin said that Moscow was open to discussing all issues related to the plant’s operations, although he warned against a “dangerous politicization of everything related to nuclear activity.”

The meeting with Putin took place after the Russian leader last week ordered that daily operations at the facility be transferred to a subsidiary of Russian nuclear company Rosatom. The move was meant to reflect the new status of Zaporozhye Region, which, along with three other former Ukrainian territories, voted overwhelmingly to join Russia during a referendum in late September. At the same time, Grossi made it clear that “the IAEA cannot recognize the annexation” of the plant.

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Power unit No. 5 of the Zaporozhye NPP in Energodar.
Russia outlines plan to restart Zaporozhye nuclear plant

The UN agency has repeatedly called to make the NPP a kind of “sanctuary” amid the fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces, given that repeated attacks on the facility could trigger a nuclear accident. Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of shelling Zaporozhye NPP, while Kiev attempted to pin the blame on Moscow.

In early September, an IAEA delegation headed by Grossi himself visited the plant, which is the largest in Europe, to examine the damage to the facility, assess the situation on the ground and establish a permanent presence there. However, at the time IAEA stopped short of identifying the culprits behind the attacks on the plant, even though Ukraine’s military had previously admitted conducting strikes near it.

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https://ift.tt/0V3tlzT 14, 2022 at 03:00PM
from RT – Daily news

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