PARIS, September 11. /TASS/. French President Emmanuel Macron plans to speak with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, over the phone again on the situation at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in the coming days, the Elysee Palace said on Sunday.
"The president will speak with President Putin again in the coming days to reach accord on issues of ensuring security at the Zaporozhye NPP," the presidential office said, adding that Macron "will stay in contact with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi."
According to the Elysee Palace, Macron stressed the necessity to guarantee the Zapaorozhye NPP’s security and noted that "Russia’s presence underlies the risks the nuclear power plant is facing." "The French president called for the withdrawal of Russian heavy and other weapons, as well as for the implementation of the IAEA recommendations on ensuring the facility’s security," it said.
Apart from that, the French leader called for the soonest end of the Russian operation and beginning of talks on "restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity."
The previous phone between Putin and Macron took place on August 19, also at the request of the French side. It was the first telephone conversation between the two leaders since May. On September 10, Macron spoke over the phone with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.
Located in the city of Energodar, the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is controlled by Russian troops. Ukrainian troops have been regularly shelling the Zaporozhye NPP in recent time. A mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), led by its Director General Rafael Grossi, visited the plant in early September. In its report issued after the visit, the IAEA called for the immediate establishment of a safety zone around the Zaporozhye plant to prevent a possible "nuclear incident" triggered hostilities. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya stressed that demilitarization would not be able ensure the plant’s security but will put at risks of Ukraine’s provocations instead. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said that Russia was studying the IAEA report but needs more time to respond to the agency’s proposals.