UN Secretariat refused IAEA visit to Zaporozhye NPP: Russian officials
The United Nations Secretariat stopped an IAEA expedition to the Zaporozhye nuclear power station on Tuesday for political reasons, according to Maria Zakharova.
The deputy director of the Russian foreign ministry's non-proliferation and arms control department, Igor Vishnevetsky, stated that Russia was willing to assist the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with a potential visit to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, but the United Nations Secretariat refused to approve such a visit.
"We were prepared to assist the IAEA in organizing an international mission headed by the Director General to assess the situation of this largest nuclear power plant on the territory of Europe," Vishnevetsky said on Wednesday.
"We came to an agreement regarding the timeline of the visits, the very complex logistics as well as security arrangements. However, just days before the proposed arrival of the IAEA delegation, the Secretariat of the United Nations refused to approve this visit."
The United Nations Secretariat reportedly stopped an IAEA expedition to the Zaporozhye nuclear power station on Tuesday for political reasons, according to Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry.
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Rafael Grossi, the head of the IAEA, stated that the mission was not blocked but that the United Nations Security Council required to get approval from all parties, which was not possible at the moment.
The refusal to permit the IAEA visit, according to Vishnevetsky, played into Kiev and its Western backers' hands, he added.
"We are convinced that Kiev intended to disrupt it from the very beginning in order to prevent an undesirable assessment," Vishnevetsky said.
Russian forces have had complete control over the Zaporozhye nuclear power station since March, but drone attacks by Ukrainian forces have regularly targeted the facility, leading Russia to request help from the IAEA to address security issues.
Earlier this week, Russia refuted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's claim that Russian forces are using the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) as a military base, according to a statement issued by the Russian Mission to the United Nations on Monday.
“We strongly reject such allegations. We repeatedly stated that actions of our Armed Forces in no way undermine Ukraine’s nuclear security or impede the routine operation of the NPP,” it said in response to Blinken’s speech made during the 10th Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in the United Nations Headquarters.