UN, Kyiv Agreed Upon Parameters for Possible IAEA Mission

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres held talks on Thursday during which the parameters were agreed of a possible mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine.

Zelenskyy told reporters that the conditions of the mission to the nuclear plant in southern Ukraine were agreed upon in a legal way, via territory free, as he underscored, from Russian occupiers, stressing that Moscow must immediately withdraw its forces and stop provocations and shelling from the plant.

The mounting fears of a Chernobyl-style nuclear disaster enticed by the increased shelling of the Russian-controlled facility both Ukraine and Russia have blamed each other for have led to the calls for an IAEA mission.

According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the presence of Moscow’s troops at the nuclear power plant is a guarantee against a “Chernobyl scenario”, referring to the 1986 nuclear catastrophe.

Previously on Thursday Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, announced that the IAEA has accepted their invitation to lead a delegation into the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, emphasizing the mission’s urgency to address nuclear security threats.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ivan Nechaev rejected on Thursday as unacceptable international calls for a demilitarized zone around the nuclear plant – it captured the plant after invading Ukraine in February- the UN Secretary-General reiterated, stressing it could shut it down.

Ukraine, on the other hand, underscored that it could increase the risk of a catastrophe.

Ukraine’s Energoatom state nuclear company has also warned that Moscow plans to switch off the functioning power blocks at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and to disconnect them from the Ukrainian power grid.