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Zelenskyy discusses level of nuclear threat provoked by russia with IAEA Director General

Zelenskyy discussed the level of the nuclear threat that was provoked by russia with the Director General of IAEA

Zelenskyy discusses level of nuclear threat provoked by russia with IAEA Director General
Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Rafael Mariano Grossi

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting with the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi who is currently visiting Ukraine.

The President's press service reported that.

Zelenskyy emphasized that on Tuesday, on the 36th anniversary of the accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, it's necessary to say that the world has again found itself one step away from a catastrophe because of russia's actions.

"In the Chornobyl exclusion zone, russian occupiers looted and destroyed a nuclear analytical laboratory in the Chornobyl NPP territory. For russian forces, the Chornobyl zone and the power plant were military bridgeheads just like the territory of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant is a bridgehead now. There is also a risk of catastrophe because of cruise missiles that are launched by russia and fly over nuclear power plant units," Zelenskyy mentioned.

He stressed that considering the threat level the response to russia's actions had been extreme, and this country had no right to turn nuclear power into a weapon nor to blackmail the world with nuclear weapons.

Zelenskyy mentioned that the world had to stop the nuclear blackmailing from russia and restore the fundamental principles of nuclear safety and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

President also reported that Ukraine had proposed an initiative to deploy peacekeepers to ensure the security of the Zaporizhzhya NPP.

Zelenskyy recalled that on the night of 4 March, when the russian occupiers were capturing the Zaporizhzhya NPP, he was holding talks with the leaders of partner countries.

He emphasized that Ukraine would engage in dialogue with the IAEA partners and insist on measures to restore the nuclear safety of Europe and the whole world.

In his turn, Rafael Mariano Grossi mentioned that on the 36th anniversary of the catastrophe he had visited the Chornobyl NPP where he thanked the plant's staff for their work, courage, and professionalism.

"We could not imagine that this path would take us where we did not expect to end up, that it is not over and some tragic events will continue taking place in this area," he noted.

"My task, among other things, is to ensure that the country's nuclear power plants, which are important in the world in terms of electricity supply, are not threatened. That is why the IAEA is in Ukraine and will continue its work. Today, we agreed to provide assistance and conduct special work to restore the capacity of the damaged infrastructure," Grossi said.

Russian forces occupied the territory of the Chornobyl NPP located close to the Belarus border on the first day of their invasion, on 24 February. They captured Ukrainian servicemen and actually held the civilians who work at the plant hostages. The occupiers left the Chornobyl NPP at the end of March.

Besides, the occupiers decided to dig in the so-called Red forest – more than 202 square meters of trees surrounding the NPP that absorbed a high dose of radiation after the catastrophe in 1986. Russians entered the area without protective suits and kicked up clouds of radioactive dust.

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