Russia has no plans to leave Zaporizhzhya NPP, says Foreign Ministry spokesperson

6 December 2022, 12:43 PM
Zaporizhzhya NPP (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Zaporizhzhya NPP (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Invading Russian forces do not plan to leave the occupied Ukrainian town of Enerhodar and the nearby Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Dec. 5.

“Taking the ZNPP out of Russia’s control or transferring control over it to a third party are out of the question,” she said.

“The ZNPP is located on Russian territory and Russia fully controls it.”

Russia falsely claims to have annexed Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Oblast and other parts of the country. Only a handful of pariah and rogue states have recognized the Kremlin’s bogus claim. Around 15% of Ukraine’s territory is currently under Russian military occupation.

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Zakharova said that “only Russia can ensure the ZNPP’s physical and nuclear safety.”

Earlier Russian media outlets reported the invaders are ready to withdraw from the ZNPP but are not yet going to leave the whole of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Oblast. Moscow reportedly plans to transfer the ZNPP to the control of Ukraine or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Zaporizhzhya NPP is Europe's largest nuclear power plant. On March 4, 2022, Russian forces seized the strategic power facility and captured its employees. Several ZNPP structures on the premises of the plant have been damaged by Russian shelling.

Russian troops have set up firing positions inside the plant’s territory and are shelling Ukrainian cities from there. Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom reported that the Russian military had placed at least 14 units of heavy military hardware, loaded with ammunition, weapons, and explosives in a turbine hall at the ZNPP.

The IAEA has since established a permanent monitoring presence at the facility. The organization has called for the establishment of a demilitarized security zone around the plant.

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