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Russia urges West not to create hurdles for IAEA mission to Zaporozhye power plant — MFA

According to Maria Zakharova, the behavior of the American and European delegations at the Security Council showed that they are not going to seriously analyze the current situation

MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. Russia is urging the West to put pressure on Ukraine and not to create hurdles for an International Atomic Energy Agency mission to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Friday.

"If they across the ocean and in European capitals are really interested in ensuring that the mission takes place, now there’s a chance to prove themselves and keep their subordinates in line. The truth will prevail. The agency's specialists will come to the ZNPP and will see everything with their own eyes. We urge the Ukrainian side and its patrons not to interfere with the important and responsible work of the IAEA," she said.

She said the UN Security Council held a meeting, which was called by Russia, to discuss the situation at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

"We are outraged by how representatives of Western countries behaved during the meeting, as they, driven by their Russophobic beliefs, immediately began to deny the obvious facts related to the shelling of the ZNPP by Ukraine," the diplomat said. "There is and can’t be any justification for the fact that states claiming special responsibility for ensuring international peace and security have not found the strength to clearly and expressly point out to Kiev the inadmissibility of the atrocities it commits and call on it to put an end to nuclear terrorism. It seems that, no matter how far the regime of [Ukrainian President] Vladimir Zelensky goes, the West is ready to write off all his sins in advance, even if the people of Europe may end up as victims."

According to Zakharova, the behavior of the American and European delegations at the Security Council showed that they are not going to seriously analyze the current situation. "The whole essence of their foreign policy approaches is to blame all the troubles and threats on Russia. This position sells well and always finds a place on Western news feeds. That is why the Security Council had to sound the alarm. Obviously, that doesn’t please Zelensky's handlers, forcing them to leave their comfort zone. They are trying to get Russia to abandon the ZNPP and the residents of Energodar," she said.

The spokeswoman said they are to blame for the disruption of an IAEA mission that planned to travel to the ZNPP in June. She said that the West "doesn’t need the truth about the ZNPP and where the threats to the nuclear and physical security of this facility actually come from."

"The position of the UN Secretary-General continues to raise questions," Zakharova said. "He has sent no signals to the Ukrainian leadership. He is either unable or unwilling to admit reality. Otherwise, how to explain his lack of will, bordering on connivance with Ukrainian attacks on ZNPP? Just to recall, it’s the obstruction on the part of the Secretary General and the secretariat that he’s heading that an international mission of the IAEA that was almost agreed on and prepared in all respects broke down in early summer."

In this regard, she said Moscow "is not sure that this won’t happen again" when preparations for an IAEA mission to the ZNPP including the agency’s chief Rafael Grossi will start again.

"It was noteworthy that the representative of Ukraine that was summoned to the UN Security Council meeting room used the podium for empty and absurd statements that further discredited the authorities in Kiev. Specialists simply cannot take this seriously. His surreal fantasies that the Russian military defending the ZNPP are allegedly firing on themselves are so "through the looking glass" that even the most notorious supporters of Kiev left them without comment," Zakharova said.

Since the beginning of August, the armed forces of Ukraine tried to strike at the territory of the nuclear power plant and Energodar at least seven times: on August 5, they shelled the area of the plant three times; on August 6, the ZNPP sanatorium and the water intake in Energodar came under fire; on August 7, another strike was delivered on the nuclear power plant, and the area of the spent nuclear fuel storage facility was affected; on August 11, the ZNPP was shelled twice.

The Zaporozhye NPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. It used to produce one quarter of all electricity in Ukraine. Its total capacity is about 6,000 Megawatts, and it includes six reactors. Right now, the power plant operates at 70% of its full capacity, due to overproduction of power in the liberated parts of the Zaporozhye Region. In the future, it is planned it will supply power to Crimea.