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Russia expects IAEA mission to visit Zaporozhye plant, senior diplomat says

Sergey Ryabkov pointed out that the visit of the IAEA experts to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant was agreed upon in June

MOSCOW, August 19. /TASS/. Moscow expects the IAEA mission's visit to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant to take place and will continue to work on its organization, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said during a Rossiya-1 TV broadcast on Friday.

"The ambiguity and slyness with which the UN Secretariat approaches this topic requires no further comment. We have uncovered the duplicity of those responsible for the security of such a mission [the IAEA], they are also playing the same political games, shifting responsibility. All in all, it is all apparent. We will be watching. We are determined to see the IAEA experts’ visit take place, and the work in this direction will be continued," the senior diplomat said.

He recalled that the visit of the IAEA experts to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant was agreed upon in June. "And if it were not for the same political games, when they are ready to sacrifice the fate of the plant to what is considered important, necessary for Kiev today, if then the agreed model of the IAEA experts' visit to the plant had worked, now the situation would probably be easier," Ryabkov added.

On June 3, Russia and the IAEA Secretariat coordinated the route and schedule for an international mission of prominent experts from a number of countries to visit the nuclear plant, with Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, set to lead the group. 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 August 11, Guterres called for the demilitarization of the plant. Commenting on Guterres’s call, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said, if demilitarized, the nuclear facility could become vulnerable to provocations and terrorist attacks.

On August 15, UN Secretary General's Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that IAEA inspectors could visit the nuclear power plant from Kiev. He stressed that the UN Secretariat, in close contact with the IAEA, had assessed that Ukraine had the logistics and security capacity to be able to support any IAEA mission to the power plant. Dujarric also said the UN Secretariat had no authority to block or cancel any of the IAEA’s activities and added that the agency was authorized to act in full independence in deciding how to implement its mandate.