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UN bureaucracy under Western pressure impedes IAEA visit to Zaporozhye — expert

On June 3, Russia and the leadership of the IAEA secretariat fully agreed on a route and schedule for the agency’s international mission to the Zaporozhye NPP

NOVOSIBIRSK, August 16. /TASS/. The Western countries intentionally delay a trip by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, using the UN bureaucracy to create various hindrances, a leading research fellow of the Institute for International Studies at the MGIMO University, Nikolai Silayev, told TASS. Silayev was a participant in negotiations on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

On June 3, Russia and the leadership of the IAEA secretariat fully agreed on a route and schedule for the agency’s international mission to the Zaporozhye NPP. IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi was going to lead this group himself. The delegation included prominent specialists from a number of countries. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the planned trip was disrupted at the very last moment by the UN secretariat’s department of safety and security. On Monday, the UN Secretary-General’s spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said that the visit would be possible via Kiev.

"The situation is very dangerous. As for the West, and primarily the United States, over the past decades they have mastered the skill of manipulating the apparatuses of international organizations, including the UN and the IAEA. The IAEA inspectors’ visit is impeded at the level of the UN apparatus. This is a consequence of Western manipulations," Silayev said.

He added that now "there are no hopes for Ukraine’s good will or common sense, and there will be none."

"Regrettably, right now the sole guarantee of the Zaporozhye NPP’s security is our air defense, as well as the possibility of moving the Ukrainian forces farther away from where they will be unable to attack. Until this happens, the risks will remain and there will be no reason to hope the bureaucracy of international organizations that are under Western pressure may display greater responsibility," Silayev said.

As Ukrainian parliament member Alexey Goncharenko said on Monday, the Verkhovna Rada had asked international organizations, including the UN, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to condemn Russia's actions at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. In particular, the legislature called for imposing sanctions on the public corporation Rosatom and all its subsidiaries, suspend Russia’s privileges and rights in the IAEA, and also insists on sending a joint UN and IAEA mission to the power plant and demilitarizing its territory.

The Zaporozhye NPP, located in Energodar, is currently under the control of Russian forces. In recent days, Ukrainian forces have carried out several strikes on the NPP’s premises, using drones, heavy artillery and multiple rocket launchers. In most cases, air defense systems repelled the attacks, but some shells hit infrastructure and the area of nuclear waste storage.