The UN chief said Zaporozhye must become a “purely civilian infrastructure” to ensure the safety of the area
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, has expressed his support for an International Atomic Energy Agency mission (IAEA), to visit Zaporozhye’s nuclear power plant on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine. However, he said that the trip could only be made if Moscow and Kiev agree on terms.
Guterres, speaking to Lviv reporters on Thursday, said that UN officials had kept in touch with IAEA. They were determined that “we have in Ukraine the logistics and security capacity” to support a mission to Europe’s largest nuclear plant.
He stated that the visit would take place “from Kiev”Only “provided both Russia and Ukraine agree.”
Over the past weeks, Russian forces accused Ukraine of shelling it multiple times. Kiev however has charged Russia with attacking the plant. Although the facility is under Russian supervision, it is managed by Ukrainians.
Guterres previously demanded demilitarization. “urgently needed”Zaporozhye to be a “purely civilian infrastructure” to ensure the plant’s safety.
“Common sense must prevail to avoid any actions that might endanger the physical integrity, safety or security of the nuclear plant,” the UN chief said, adding that the facility “must not be used as part of any military operation.”
“We must tell it like it is – any potential damage to [Zaporozhye] is suicide.”
Moscow has called repeatedly for an IAEA visit to the plant. It has stated that UN calls to demilitarize all areas around it are unacceptable, citing provocations by Kiev. According to Ivan Nechayev, a Russian Foreign Ministry deputy spokesperson on Thursday, demilitarizing this area will make it more susceptible to Ukrainian nationalists groups.
Russia calls for international inspection at nuclear sites that are shelled
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Ukraine has threatened to launch a provocation at the site Friday in time for Guterres’ visit. This is to deny Russia that it might risk nuclear catastrophe.
Earlier in the week, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his support for IAEA missions to Ukraine. “as soon as possible.”
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