The president of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, criticized that the president of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, has not requested the demilitarization of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, taken by the Russiansduring the visit he made this Thursday to the plant.
In a speech published tonight on his website, the Ukrainian president recalled that the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) launched on Thursday a inspection mission of this nuclear plant, the largest in Europeunder the control of Russian troops since March 4.
For Zelensky, the “key to what should happen is the demilitarization of the territory of the plant. This is exactly the goal of Ukrainian and international efforts, ”he said about these facilities that can suffer a accident due to the bombings that occur in the area.
“And the bad thing is that we have not yet heard the appropriate calls from the IAEA (in this regard). Although we discussed it with Mr. Grossi at our meeting in kyiv. This was the key (…). It was clearly stated: demilitarization and total control (of Zaporizhzhia) by Ukrainian nuclear specialists.”
Zelensky also complained that other conditions that he agreed with Grossi in the meeting prior to the visit to the plant have not been met, such as the fact that the independent press has not been allowed to accompany the members of the IAEA.
“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 Ukrainian and international media. Independent journalists. For the world to see the truth. To see what’s really going on”, explained the president.
“Unfortunately, this was not done. Although it was promised. Unfortunately, the (Russian) occupiers did not let the journalists in, but organized a group of their propagandists. Unfortunately, IAEA representatives failed to protect independent media representatives“, lament.
Still, Zelensky said he is “hopeful that the mission will draw objective conclusions from the circumstances at the plant.”
“For more than three decades, five facilities have been under the control of our specialists: the Chernobyl plant and four operational nuclear power plants. The IAEA never had any claim regarding the activities of any of these facilities until Russia invaded our territory. and brought his madness here,” he recalled.
“It is good,” he added, “that the IAEA representatives have the opportunity to draw objective conclusions about the risks that have arisen at the nuclear power plant (…) the risks that have arisen precisely because of the occupants.”
The constant bombing, the presence of Russian soldiers and weapons at the plant, the mistreatment of Ukrainian personnel and the attempts to put the plant under the control of representatives of the Russian state-owned company Rosatom are not part of a responsible attitude towards to the facilities, he stressed.
“When the Russian military finally leaves the territory of the nuclear power plant, when they take away their weapons, ammunition, when they stop shelling Enerhodar (the plant’s satellite town) and neighboring areas, and stop their provocations, the Zaporizhzhia plant will be able to return to completely safe operation, which has always been the case under Ukrainian control”, he indicated.
The director general of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, left the Ukrainian nuclear power plant this Thursday, but decided to establish a “continuous” presence in the plant and leave several inspectors from the international organization who are part of his team there, at least until Saturday.
The experts who inspected the facilities were accompanied by representatives of Russia’s state atomic energy corporation, Rosatom, and plant employees, according to the official Russian news agency RIA Nóvosti.
Grossi left the atomic plant after about two hours in the compound and explained that in that time he and the other thirteen experts had “been able to gather a lot of information” in a first tour of the key areas of the facilities.
(With information from EFE)
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