Grossi: Moscow, Kiev ready to work with IAEA to ensure nuclear safety
After meeting with the foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine, the IAEA chief says both sides are ready to work and engage with the agency.
Moscow and Kiev are "ready to work" with the UN atomic watchdog to ensure nuclear safety, Rafael Grossi, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), confirmed Thursday.
Grossi met Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in separate meetings in Antalya, where Turkey is holding talks between Kiev and Moscow in a bid to simmer down tensions as the Russian special military operation in Ukraine unfolds.
Lavrov had expressed his dissatisfaction with the Antalya talks, saying that despite Moscow being in favor of all communications that helped in resolving the Ukraine crisis, there are no alternatives to the negotiations in Belarus, while Kuleba noted that the meeting with Lavrov was not easy, and there was no progress in achieving a ceasefire.
At a time of great need for peace, met with my Russian and Ukrainian counterparts Lavrov & Kuleba in a tripartite format on the margins of @AntalyaDF.— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) March 10, 2022
We sincerely hope that peace prevails in our region.
We will continue our efforts for diplomacy between #Russia & #Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/sJu2e8XALJ
"We had good meetings, not easy ones, but serious meetings," Grossi told reporters after returning to Vienna, where the IAEA is based.
Constructive and important meeting with @mfa_russia's Sergei Lavrov in Antalya, #Turkey this afternoon. We are making progress on the safety and security of nuclear facilities in #Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/baT9BlSpyD— Rafael MarianoGrossi (@rafaelmgrossi) March 10, 2022
"Both sides agree... that something needs to be done. They are both ready to work and to engage with the IAEA," he added.
The IAEA chief pointed out that he would try to "have something more concrete" in the next few days, emphasizing that "It's a very dire situation and we need to move fast."
Power has been cut to the Chernobyl nuclear plant, Ukraine confirmed Wednesday, but the IAEA noted that there was "no critical impact on safety."
Russia's Defense Ministry had announced that Ukrainian ultra-nationalists had committed a serious provocation by bombing facilities that provide energy to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
The IAEA said data transmission was also lost at the Zaporizhzhia atomic plant, Europe's largest NPP.