The United Nations is ready to help the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its mission to the Russian-captured Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, spokesman for the UN Secretary General Stéphane Dujarric said on August 15.
The UN emphasized that the IAEA is an independent organization which decides by itself on how to implement its mandate – the UN cannot block or cancel any actions of the agency.
"... The UN Secretariat believes that it has the logistical and security capabilities in Ukraine that can support any IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, if Ukraine and Russia agree to this," Dujarric said.
The largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhya NPP was captured by Russian invading forces after the fighting in the town of Enerhodar on 4 March. The nuclear plant’s buildings were damaged by Russian shelling in several places, and plant workers were taken prisoner.
The Kremlin is using the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant to put pressure on Ukraine and the world, threatening a nuclear catastrophe. It’s also using the power plant structures as cover for its military vehicles, since the Armed Forces of Ukraine cannot return fire in the area of the power plant.
Russian troops have now set up firing positions at the nuclear plant and are shelling Ukrainian cities from there. Energoatom reported that Russian invading forces placed at least 14 units of heavy military vehicles with ammunition, weapons and explosives in the turbine hall of the nuclear plant’s first reactor. In the last two weeks, the invaders have repeatedly staged provocations by shelling close to the nuclear power plant.
Ukraine has called on the IAEA and the UN to send an international mission to the Zaporizhzhya NPP as soon as possible.