MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. Kiev’s actions are endangering the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant and may lead to a disaster, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said in an interview with TASS.
"All in all, we are doing everything we can to make sure that the idea of creating a safety zone around the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant is finally implemented and the risk of a disaster at the nuclear facility is negated. We hope that reason will prevail in Ukraine and Kiev will realize that it is irresponsible to endanger the nuclear power plant and its infrastructure because such actions could lead to the most devastating consequences," Galuzin pointed out.
The Russian deputy foreign minister stressed that Moscow would like the safety zone around the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant to be established as soon as possible. "The facility is under our jurisdiction now, being operated by a Russian company. In this regard, we are very much interested in the nuclear power station operating smoothly and safely," he went on to say. "However, we haven’t yet seen the Ukrainian authorities take any really constructive steps in terms of reaching an agreement on the creation of a safety zone around the Zaporozhye facility. The Kiev regime continues to shell both the nuclear power plant and its infrastructure sites, trying to cause as much damage as possible," the diplomat said.
Galuzin emphasized that Russia appreciated the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi’s mediation efforts aimed at making progress on the issue.
The Zaporozhye nuclear plant, located in the city of Energodar, is the largest in Europe and has a capacity of about 6,000 MW. Russian troops took control of the facility in late February. Since then, the Ukrainian military has been shelling both Energodar’s residential areas and the premises of the Zaporozhye nuclear station, using drones, heavy artillery and multiple rocket launchers. An IAEA mission led by Grossi visited the facility in early September and two of its members remained at the site as observers. The IAEA later published a report calling for the creation of a safety zone around the plant to prevent any calamities from the ongoing military activities. Grossi has been in talks on the initiative with Russia and Ukraine. In particular, he visited St. Petersburg on October 11 to hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. On December 2, Grossi said that an agreement on creating a safety zone around the Zaporozhye NPP could be reached in the near future.