Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged the international community to force the Russian military out of the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after multiple strikes hit the complex.
“The whole world must react immediately to drive out the occupiers of Zaporizhzhia. Only the complete withdrawal of the Russians… would guarantee nuclear security for all of Europe,” Zelenskyy said in his daily video address.
The statement came after Ukraine accused Russia of again bombing the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on Thursday, Al Jazeera reported.
Earlier, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demanded access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant “as soon as possible” for their safety.
“I ask both parties to cooperate (…) and allow an IAEA mission to take place as soon as possible,” said Rafael Mariano Grossi in an address to the UN Security Council.
Grossi said the IAEA had received updates from Ukraine and Russia, but the information provided was often contradictory, according to Al Jazeera.
“So I propose, I plead to call this mission as soon as possible,” he said, adding that preventing a nuclear disaster was a “collective responsibility”.
Ukraine’s interior minister said Kyiv was drawing up contingency plans to deal with any scenario at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, including the evacuation of people from the area.
“The factory is to this day not only in enemy hands but in the hands of uneducated specialists who could potentially allow a tragedy to occur,” Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky told Reuters in a statement. an interview.
“Of course, it is even difficult to imagine the magnitude of the tragedy that could occur if the Russians continued their actions there,” he said.
Meanwhile, the UN chief has called for an immediate end to all military activity around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, warning that any damage could lead to “catastrophic consequences” in the region and beyond, Al reported. Jazeera.
In a statement released ahead of a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the security of the plant, Antonio Guterres called for “common sense and reason” to avoid any action “that could endanger the integrity physical, safety or security of the nuclear power plant”.
Guterres issued a separate statement earlier today before the nuclear power plant site was struck five times, according to the Ukrainian nuclear operator.
Moscow and Kyiv accused each other of hitting the compound on Thursday and over the weekend.
Notably, Russia launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24, which the West called an unprovoked war. As a result, Western countries have also imposed several crippling sanctions on Moscow.
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