Zaporizhia power plant in Ukraine: NATO calls for an urgent “inspection” from the IAEA
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday it was “urgent” for an “inspection” by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to take place at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, under Russian control. and around which strikes and clashes multiply.
The plant, the largest in Europe, was taken in early March by Russian troops at the very start of their invasion of Ukraine. Since August 5, kyiv and Moscow have accused each other of bombing, while strikes landed once near a radioactive storage building, and another time caused the automatic shutdown of a reactor.
The occupation of the site by Russian soldiers “constitutes a serious threat to its security and increases the risk of a nuclear accident or incident (…) It is urgent to authorize an inspection by the IAEA and to obtain the withdrawal of all Russian forces,” Stoltenberg said at a press conference.
Russian control of Zaporizhia “endangers the people of Ukraine, neighboring countries, as well as the international community”, he insisted, speaking after a meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
The recent strikes that targeted the plant, raising fears of a nuclear disaster, prompted a meeting of the UN Security Council last week and IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi pleaded for the dispatch of an on-site mission “as soon as possible” to inspect the site.
Russia accused the UN services of having prevented the IAEA mission. Ukraine, for its part, opposed it, considering that it would legitimize the Russian occupation of the site in the eyes of the international community.
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