Latest news on the war confronting Russia and Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to submit clarifications on its report on the situation at the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant, controlled by Russian forces in Ukraine, while the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom has expressed its readiness to cooperate with the international body to ensure the safety of the facilities.
“There is a need to obtain additional clarifications, as the report contains a number of issues,” said Lavrov, who stressed that Moscow “has asked for these clarifications from the IAEA director general (Rafael Grossi),” without giving further details on the matter, Russian news agency Interfax reported.
For his part, Rosatom CEO Alexei Likhachev stressed that the company “is ready” to collaborate with the IAEA. “The answer to this question can only be an unequivocal yes,” he said, before stressing that the corporation “will do everything possible to ensure safe operations at the station, exclusively in contact with the IAEA.”
“I would like to emphasize again the importance of the mission. The most important thing is to continue permanently and directly at the station,” he explained. “I would like to emphasize that the IAEA staff, from the director general to the drivers, showed great courage during the mission and the issues related to the work at the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant,” Likhachev has noted.
By contrast, Russia’s permanent representative to the IAEA, Vasili Nebenzia, has criticized the IAEA report’s failure to “directly indicate what is the source of the firing” recorded recently at the power plant, which Russia blames on the Ukrainian Army. “We understand his (Grossi’s) position as head of the international regulator, but in the current situation it is extremely important to call a spade a spade,” he said.
Hours earlier, Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenski had welcomed the fact that the IAEA report on the nuclear power plant includes allusions to Russia’s military control over the facility, while stressing that it is time for the agency to “force” Moscow to withdraw troops and equipment.
Experts have deemed the current situation at this nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, to be “unsustainable,” but for now the parties have shown no signs of making major concessions and just this Tuesday explosions were recorded in the town of Energodar, where the plant is located.