The head of NATO said on Wednesday in Brussels that agency representatives should urgently inspect the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant in Enerhodara, Ukraine.
– This area is occupied by the Russian army poses a serious safety risk that increases the risk of a nuclear accident or incident, Stoltenberg said, referring to the regular Russian shelling around the plant.
– There is an urgent need to authorize IAEA inspections and have all Russian forces withdrawn from there. Russian control of the power plant poses a threat to the people of Ukraine, neighboring countries and the international community – argued the head of NATO during a press conference after the meeting with President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic.
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The Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant in southern Ukraine was seized by Russian forces in early March. Russian soldiers are stationed on the premises. However, the Ukrainian company Enerhoatom informed in May that Ukrainian personnel are responsible for the daily operation and maintenance of the facility.
Fighting near the nuclear power plant
For weeks, the Ukrainian side has been accusing Russia of artillery shelling in the vicinity and on the premises of the power plant. Experts and international organizations warn of a possible nuclear threat.
On Wednesday, Russian troops once again fired artillery in the Nikopol region (poviat) in the Dnipropetrovsk region, which is located near the occupied Enerhodaru and Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant – on the opposite bank of the Dnieper River.
Fears of a nuclear disaster prompted the UN Security Council to convene a special meeting last week, and IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi called for a mission to be sent to Enerhodar as soon as possible to assess the situation.