IAEA Reports Explosions Near Zaporizhzhia Plant, Russia Dismisses Allegation | United Nations News

The International Atomic Energy Agency has reported explosions near the Ukrainian nuclear power plant occupied by Russian forces.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reported powerful explosions near Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and renewed calls for a safe zone around it.

A Russian official quickly dismissed comments from IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, saying the UN body had suggested Moscow could not maintain nuclear safety at the plant.

Grossi, who visited Ukraine last week, said on Thursday the IAEA regularly monitors reported explosions near the plant.

“Eight loud bangs were heard around 10 a.m. local time yesterday, rattling factory office windows, and more were audible today,” it said in a statement.

Russian forces seized the Zaporizhzhia plant from Ukraine in early March, shortly after the invasion, and Moscow and Kyiv have accused each other of fighting around the sensitive site.

Security concerns prompted the IAEA to send experts to Ukraine’s five nuclear power plants.

Renat Karchaa, adviser to the director of Rosenergoatom, the company that operates Russia’s nuclear power plants, said Grossi’s remarks were unfounded.

“I can only describe this as a provocation. Before providing such information, you should verify it and establish that it is not based on rumours,” Karchaa was quoted by Russian news agency TASS as saying.

“On the one hand, they want to show that they are doing something useful. On the other hand, they again sow doubt in Western public opinion that Russia cannot cope with maintaining nuclear security,” he said.

Karchaa’s acerbic tone was somewhat unusual. Russian officials have sought to assure Western countries that they meet safety standards and continue to work with the IAEA.

In his statement, Grossi said he had discussed the proposed nuclear safety zone around the plant with the European Union in Brussels this week and would have further talks with Moscow.

Deja un comentario

error: Content is protected !!