Fearing a “disaster” in Zaporizhia, Putin agrees to an IAEA mission
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on Friday accepted that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would send a mission to Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, and said he feared the bombings would end up causing nothing “big catastrophe”, strikes that moscow and Kyiv blame each other for.
“The systematic bombing (…) of the territory of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant creates the danger of a large-scale disaster that could lead to radioactive contamination of large areas,” warned the Russian President during a telephone conversation with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron.
In this regard, MM. Putin and Macron “pointed out how important it is to send a mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency to the nuclear power plant as soon as possible, which will be able to assess the situation on the ground,” the Kremlin said and stressed that “the Russian side has confirmed that it is ready to provide the inspectors with any necessary assistance [de l’AIEA] “.
The Russian head of state has also accepted that the latter will go “through Ukraine” and not through Russia, which he had previously requested, the French presidency said.
In a statement, International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi welcomed “recent statements showing that Ukraine and Russia support the IAEA’s goal of deploying a mission [à Zaporijia] “. This organization “is in active consultation with all parties [pour y dépêcher] as soon as possible [une équipe que M. Grossi] will lead itself, ”says this text, which was broadcast in the evening. “In this highly volatile and fragile situation, it is crucial that no new measures are taken that (…) could further endanger one of the largest nuclear power plants in the world,” emphasized the IAEA chief.
“The restoration of total security [sur ce site] can begin after the mission has started its work,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the evening.
The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, has called on the Russians to “withdraw”. [de la zone de la centrale et à] immediately return full control to its rightful owner, Ukraine”.