Grossi negotiates ZNPP security zone on sidelines of UNGA
IAEA Director-General tells a press briefing that a potential security zone is being negotiated with Russia, Ukraine, and other parties.
Negotiations with Russia, Ukraine, as well as other partners have begun under the leadership of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to establish the parameters of a potential security zone and the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP), according to IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi.
At the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Grossi told a press briefing that "I'm here working on the establishment of a nuclear safety and security protection zone around the nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhia here. I had a meeting with the two foreign ministers – [Russian] Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov, [Ukrainian] Foreign Minister [Dmytro] Kuleba, and then a meeting organized or presided by [French] President [Emmanuel] Macron and the Ukrainian Prime Minister [Denys Shmyhal], with the foreign ministers of the G7 countries, the EU, High Representative Josep Borrell, and Mexico as well was present. The wheels are in motion."
Grossi emphasized that "we are already working on the very concrete aspects that would be required to have the zone to be established,” noting that "I hope to be heading to Kiev or to Ukraine, soon, and perhaps later on to Russia, at some point."
He then explained that "given the urgency of the situation and the gravity of what's going on in the field, we have to move fast so I'm trying to make it happen as soon as I can."
Alternatively, Grossi commented on the outstanding Iranian-IAEA issues, saying that they will not be wished away and that "the IAEA has limited access to Iran's nuclear facilities. ... We are ready to re-engage with Iran."
Lavrov confirms Russia’s intention to cooperate with IAEA over ZNPP
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met Wednesday with Rafael Grossi and confirmed Moscow’s intention to continue close cooperation with the Agency in order to force Kiev to immediately cease shelling the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.
"During the conversation, an exchange of opinions on the security issues of nuclear facilities in Ukraine was held, including the situation around the Zaporozhye NPP (ZNPP)," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Ministry mentioned that "Lavrov confirmed the intention of the Russian side to continue close cooperation with the IAEA in order to force the Kiev regime to immediately cease the bombings of the aforementioned power plant and its adjacent territories, including the city of Energodar where the staff of the ZNPP and their families reside."
I have begun consultations in earnest on the Nuclear Safety and Security Protection Zone (NSSPZ) at #Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant in #Ukraine. Productive and professional exchange with 🇷🇺 Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on this issue. pic.twitter.com/yeh7mEWrLv— Rafael MarianoGrossi (@rafaelmgrossi) September 21, 2022
According to Russian news agency TASS, "The meeting between the Russian top diplomat and the IAEA chief took place on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA)."