Zelensky to IAEA: Russia holds nuclear plant hostage

Zelensky to IAEA: Russia holds nuclear plant hostage

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the head of the UN nuclear watchdog that security at the Zaporizhia nuclear power station could not be guaranteed until Russian troops left the facility.

On Monday, the President met with the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, at the Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Station, northeast of the Zaporizhia plant.

Russian forces captured Europe’s largest Zaporizhzhya plant in March 2022 in the early weeks of the war, and the Kremlin showed no inclination to give up control of it. Russian officials say they want to connect the Zaporizhzhia plant to the Russian grid.

“Without the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops and personnel from the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Station and surrounding areas, any initiative to restore nuclear safety and security will fail,” the president’s website quoted Zelensky as saying.

Russia and Ukraine regularly accuse each other of shelling the facility and running the risk of a major accident. Fighting around the plant and concerns about its cooling systems losing power have raised fears of a nuclear disaster.

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