The IAEA mission waits in a queue of cars to enter the territory of Zaporiyia.

Russia does not rule out a permanent IAEA mission to the Zaporiyia power plant.

Aug. 31 () –

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission, which departed this morning from Kiev for the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant, is waiting in a queue of cars to enter the Moscow-administered territory.

According to the Moscow-appointed governor of the Zaporiyia region, Yevhen Balitsky, there are approximately 200 cars on the roads leaving the territory for Kiev, so the IAEA mission “will have to wait like everyone else,” TASS news agency reported.

Other officials of the regional administration appointed by the Kremlin, such as Vladimir Rogov, who explained that IAEA members will not be provided with “special passes” to speed up the process, according to ‘Kommersant’.

Shortly before, Yevhen Yevtushenko, Ukrainian head of the military administration of the city of Nikopol — in the neighboring region of Dnipropetrovsk — has pointed out on his official Telegram profile that Russian troops have carried out shelling in Energodar, the city in which the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant is located.

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In doing so, he has argued that Moscow wants to create the “image” in the media that the city is allegedly being shelled from the opposite bank of the Dnieper, from the Nikopol side, in the Dnipropetrovsk region in the southeast of the country.

For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry has explained that Kiev created a “catastrophe threat” on Tuesday due to the Ukrainian Armed Forces launching a projectile that hit a building of the solid radioactive waste processing complex of the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant.

Also, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has assured that Ukraine is “actively” using NATO weapons to shell the plant’s facilities, TASS news agency has reported.

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On the other hand, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko has specified that a “permanent” stay of the IAEA mission is not ruled out. “The arrival of the mission will allow us to realistically assess the situation and dispel those falsifications that Ukraine and the West actively spread,” he explained.

The Zaporiyia nuclear power plant is the largest in Europe. It has a net output of 9,500 megawatts and had more than 10,000 employees before the war began. The plant was occupied by Russian troops shortly after the invasion of Ukraine began in late February.

In recent weeks, the power plant has been the target of frequent shootings and explosions, for which Kiev and Moscow blame each other, sparking international concern about a possible nuclear catastrophe.

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