Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said Thursday that Russian troops have not allowed journalists and international media to accompany the mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
Zelensky explained that during his meeting on Tuesday with the director of the IAEA, Raphael Grossirequested that a team of independent journalists accompany the mission to objectively report the situation of the plant, something that Russia would have refused.
“When we met with Mr. Grossi and the members of the mission in kyiv, we agreed that the mission would be accompanied by journalists from the Ukrainian and international media. Independent journalists. For the world to see the truth (…) Unfortunately, the occupiers have not allowed the journalists to enter”, said the president in his daily address to the Ukrainian population.
The Ukrainian head of state asserted that he has “clear evidence” that Russia had “deceived” the IAEA mission in other ways.
“With the help of intimidating residents of the city of Energodar (next to the plant), the occupiers have forced people to lie to IAEA representativesZelensky added.
The Ukrainian president shared his wishes that the mission “draw objective conclusions from the circumstances at the plant.”
“For more than three decades, five nuclear power plants have been under the direction of our specialists (…) The IAEA has never commented on the activities of any of these facilities until Russia invaded our territory and brought its madness here”, said the president.
This Thursday, the head of International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA), Raphael Grossi, said the UN agency “will stay” at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plantcontrolled by Moscow, in southern Ukraine.
“The IAEA stays here. Let the world know that the IAEA remains in Zaporizhzhia”said Rafael Grossi, who is leading an inspection of the plant, in a video published by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti. He did not specify how many people will stay. “A group will be there until Sunday or Monday to continue the evaluation”said.
Grossi also stated that saw “what he needed to see” on Thursday’s visit to the Ukrainian nuclear power planttarget of bombing in recent weeks.
“It is evident that (…) the physical integrity of the plant was violated on several occasions” and “this cannot happen again”Grossi added after returning to territory controlled by Ukraine after the inspection of the nuclear power plant.
The team of the IAEA arrived this Thursday at the nuclear plant, the largest in Europe, which has been in the midst of clashes between Ukrainian and Russian forces since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine six months ago.
(With information from Europe Press)
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