A Ukrainian official has accused the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of encouraging a further escalation of the situation at the Russian-seized Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant (ZNPP), and supporting Kremlin propaganda. Oleh Korikov, acting head of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine, made the claims in a public call on May 27.
He said Russia's nuclear terrorism was taking place in the absence of a clear position and effective response from the IAEA to Ukraine's numerous appeals on this issue, which he said was why Russian representatives are “convinced of their impunity and are making even more bold actions and statements.”
As an example, Korikov referred to the so-called mayor of the occupied town of Enerhodar, appointed by the Russian military, who stated that "the agency did not record violations of the safe operation of ZNPP."
On May 25, 2022, in his speech to the audience of the Davos Economic Forum, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi stated that allegedly "30,000 kilograms of plutonium and 40,000 kilograms of enriched uranium suitable for the manufacture of nuclear weapons" were stored at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP.
"This is clear evidence that IAEA, represented by its Director General, is under the influence of Russian propaganda and does not have reliable information," Korikov said.
Kremlin propagandists have falsely claimed that Ukraine is seeking to make its own nuclear weapons.
ZNPP was captured by Russian invaders on March 4 after heavy fighting in Enerhodar. Some of the plant's facilities have been damaged by Russian shelling, and the plant’s employees have been taken hostage by Russian invading forces.
At the same time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the Russian specialists whom the invaders had brought to the seized ZNPP are now trying to leave under various pretexts.