Kuleba and Grossi, in bomb shelter, discuss security zone around Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant

14 October 2022, 10:26 AM
Rafael Grossi and Dmytro Kuleba in Kyiv on October 13, 2022 (Photo:Rafael MarianoGrossi / Twitter)

Rafael Grossi and Dmytro Kuleba in Kyiv on October 13, 2022 (Photo:Rafael MarianoGrossi / Twitter)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba held talks with the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Raphael Grossi on Oct. 13 in Kyiv – in a bomb shelter because of a Russian air raid on the Ukrainian capital.

“Met with Rafael Grossi in a bomb shelter in Kyiv while Russian terrorists kept firing missiles at Ukraine,” Kuleba wrote on his Twitter.

Russia should leave the Zaporizhzhya NPP “in order to ensure its nuclear safety, immediately stop abductions and intimidation of Ukrainian personnel,” he added.

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The two officials have achieved “progress towards establishment of a nuclear safety and protection zone” around the ZNPP, Grossi tweeted in turn.

The IAEA director general last visited Kyiv on Oct. 6. After that he went to Russia to hold talks on a safety and protection zone around the ZNPP.

A mission of 14 IAEA experts, headed by Rafael Grossi, arrived at the ZNPP in Enerhodar on Sept. 1, but most of the team departed after just four hours.

The IAEA published a 52-page report on the situation at the Zaporizhzhya NPP, based on the agency’s recent mission to the facility, on Sept. 6. In its conclusions, the document suggests there is an acute need for temporary measures to ensure nuclear safety of the ZNPP, including establishing a secure zone around the power plant. The IAEA says it is ready to discuss concrete steps to secure such a perimeter.

There are only two members of the IAEA team at the plant as of now, monitoring the situation there. Their presence will be “vital” in stabilizing the situation, Grossi said. He added that two more monitors would be sent to the plant and that the IAEA will seek to establish a permanent monitoring presence at the ZNPP.

The largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhya NPP was captured by Russian invasion forces after fighting in Enerhodar on March 4. The buildings of the ZNPP were damaged by Russian shelling in several places, and the plant's employees were held captive.

Russian invasion forces have increased the number of their troops and military equipment on the territory of the ZNPP, Ukrainian nuclear operator Enerhoatom reported on the Telegram messenger on Aug 23.

In total, more than 500 military personnel and 40 pieces of military equipment were deployed on the territory of the power plant, including 16 military vehicles near the first reactor, and seven near the second, Energoatom said.

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