Friday Sep 29, 2023
Friday Sep 29, 2023

Zelenskyy urges the world to react to the Russian-controlled nuclear plant

2022 Aug 12, 7:23, Kyiv

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the international community to force the Russian army to leave the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after multiple strikes hit the compound.

"The entire world must react immediately to chase out the occupiers from Zaporizhzhia. Only the Russians' full withdrawal... would guarantee nuclear safety for all of Europe," Zelenskyy said in his daily video address.

This statement came after Ukraine accused Russia of shelling the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) again on Thursday, Al Jazeera reported.

Earlier, the Chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demanded access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant "as soon as possible" for their safety.

"I ask that both sides cooperate... and allow for a mission of the IAEA to proceed as soon as possible," Rafael Mariano Grossi said in an address to the UN Security Council.

Grossi said the IAEA had received updates from both Ukraine and Russia, but that the information provided was often contradictory, according to Al Jazeera.

"So I propose, I plead to call this mission as soon as possible," he said, adding that preventing a nuclear disaster was a "collective responsibility."

Ukraine's interior minister said that Kyiv is making contingency plans to face any scenario at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, including evacuating people from the area.

"The plant is as of today not only in the hands of the enemy but in the hands of uneducated specialists who could potentially allow for a tragedy to happen," interior minister Denys Monastyrsky told Reuters in an interview.

"Of course, it's difficult to even imagine the scale of the tragedy which could come into effect if Russians continue their actions there," he said.

Meanwhile, the UN Chief has called for an immediate end to all military activity around Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, warning that any damage could lead to "catastrophic consequences" in the region and beyond, reported Al Jazeera.

In a statement issued before a UN Security Council meeting to discuss security at the plant, Antonio Guterres appealed "for common sense and reason" to avoid any actions "that might endanger the physical integrity, safety or security of the nuclear plant".

Guterres issued a separate statement earlier in the day before the site of the nuclear plant was struck five times, according to Ukraine's state nuclear operator.

Moscow and Kyiv have each accused the other of striking the compound on Thursday and over the weekend.

Notably, Russia launched a "special military operation" in Ukraine on February 24, which the West has termed an unprovoked war. As a result of this, the Western countries have also imposed several crippling sanctions on Moscow.


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