The UN Atomic Energy Agency chief is scheduled to tour Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine on Wednesday. Which is currently under Russian control.
There are persistent concerns about the safety of Europe’s biggest nuclear plant, in the southern Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine. Meanwhile, it has seen frequent shelling since Russian troops invaded.
Russia’s nuclear operator Rosenergoatom, Rafael Grossi, director of IAEA, and his team are expected to arrive Wednesday morning and depart by afternoon.
Grossi’s journey to Zaporizhzhia will be his second since Russia invaded Ukraine. Meanwhile he intends to “assess first-hand the serious nuclear safety and security situation at the facility,” according to the IAEA.
Since September 2022, the agency has had a team of experts inside the facility. But Grossi said the situation is “still precarious.”
It is impossible to restore nuclear plant safety: Zelenskyy
Before his visit, he visited with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who said it is impossible to restore nuclear plant safety while Russia was still in charge.
“Any initiatives to restore nuclear safety and security are doomed to failure. Unless Russian troops and personnel are immediately withdrawn from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and adjacent territory,” Zelensky informed Grossi.
To guarantee critical nuclear safety and security functions. The plant requires a reliable electricity supply.
However, it has experienced repeated power outages during the conflict. Which has alarmed the IAEA and the international community.
The Russian invasion has devastated large swaths of the country. And despite more than 13 months of gruelling battles, Ukraine’s chief diplomat set a defiant tone on Tuesday.
“Russia must withdraw from every square metre of Ukrainian territory,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a virtual session ahead of the Summit for Democracy. Which will be officially launched on Wednesday by US President Joe Biden.
“There should be no misunderstanding about what the term withdrawal implies.”
Aggression crime’ –
In Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, fighting has recently focused on the eastern city of Bakhmut. With Kiev claiming it is holding out in the city to exhaust Russian forces.
The complete capture of Donetsk, which Russia claimed to have annexed last year despite ongoing fighting. It is a crucial military goal of Russia’s invasion.
Moscow said Tuesday that it had for the first time shot down a long-range rocket provided by the US to Ukraine.
“Air defense (forces) downed… a GLSDB guided rocket,” Russia’s defence ministry said in a statement. Alluding to small diameter bombs fired from the ground.
These weapons have a range of up to 150 kilometres (93 miles). Putting Russian positions and supply depots far behind the front lines in jeopardy.
On the legal front, the US backed a special international commission on Tuesday to try Russia for “aggression” against Ukraine.
In the aftermath of World War II, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were tried for the crime of aggression. Also known as a crime against peace.