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IAEA delegation's trip to Zaporozhye NPP across front line is dangerous, diplomat warns

Igor Vishnevetsky recalled that Russia proposed a safe route for the trip of inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency to the plant

UN, August 16. /TASS/. A trip by the delegation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant via Kiev and then across the contact line would be very dangerous, Igor Vishnevetsky, Deputy Director of the Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control at the Russian Foreign Ministry, told reporters on Monday.

"Across the front line - that is a huge risk, given that the Ukrainian armed forces are heterogeneous armed formations. These people will be ready to commit any provocation," he said. He was commenting on the statement by the representative of the UN Secretary General Stefane Dujarric that the world organization could to facilitate such a visit via Kiev.

"In this case, anything could happen if the IAEA delegation went across the front line," the diplomat added.

He recalled that Russia proposed a safe route for the trip of inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the plant.

"When it concerned the previous visit, which was disrupted, Russia proposed a route that would ensure the safety of the IAEA inspectors," he said.

"In this case the Russian side can provide complete security, our military will fully provide it. Ukraine will not provide anything," he added.

"Therefore, this proposal [on a trip through Kiev and the territory controlled by Ukraine] raises not only questions, but bewilderment," the diplomat concluded.

Demilitarization is not within the authority of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), such calls in relation to the Zaporozhye NPP are irresponsible, Vishnevetsky said.

"The IAEA is not engaged in demilitarization and security. It has a clear mandate, which is the implementation of IAEA guarantees," he said, commenting on statements made in Kiev that the purpose of the inspectors' visit could be the demilitarization of the plant.

"This is just an irresponsible statement," the diplomat added.

"The IAEA comes with an inspection of the facilities, checks whether the obligations are fulfilled or not, that is, whether nuclear material is used at the plant for peaceful purposes," Vishnevetsky went on.

"This is the goal and mandate of the IAEA. If the inspection pays attention to any interference in the operation of the plant, of course, it will describe this in its reports, it will be discussed. Everything else is not the responsibility of the agency," he concluded.

The Verkhovna Rada asked international organizations including the UN, EU, OSCE and others to condemn Russia's actions at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Ukrainian lawmaker Alexey Goncharenko announced on Monday. In particular, the Rada proposes imposing sanctions against Rosatom and all its subsidiaries, suspending Russia's privileges and rights in the IAEA, and insists on organizing a joint UN and IAEA mission to the plant and on demilitarizing the territory.