MOSCOW, August 9: Russia is ready to render assistance to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in order to grant its mission an access to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (NPP), the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
"We hope that under current conditions the UN Secretary General [Antonio Guterres] will come to realize his full scope of responsibility and will not be hindering the IAEA mission by using either his subordinate department of the Secretariat or other links in the UN mechanism," the statement reads.
The Foreign Ministry recalled that earlier this month a visit by an IAEA mission to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant was canceled by the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) at the very last minute. The schedule and the route of the visit were agreed upon on August 3 by the Russian side and the IAEA administration and the planned mission was made up of international experts, headed by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi.
"Using a very close interaction with the agency, we have managed to settle all difficult issues regarding the organization of such a complicated event under the current circumstances," the statement from the ministry reads. "However, a red light was switched on at the very last moment by the United Nations Department of Safety and Security."
"The trip was disrupted. Authorities in Kiev used it to step up their provocations and bombardments of the nuclear station," the statement added.
On August 7, the Ukrainian military shelled the Zaporozhye NPP, targeting, in particular, the spent nuclear fuel repository. The military-civilian administration of Energodar where the nuclear power station is located said that the Kiev regime had fired a 220mm Uragan rocket with a cluster munition.
Its striking elements damaged the station’s administrative buildings and the repository’s adjacent territory. Prior to that, the Ukrainian military bombarded the Zaporozhye NPP on August 5 and 6.
The Kiev regime is attempting to disrupt the region’s recovery and is bombarding civilian facilities in populated areas.
The Zaporozhye NPP is the largest in Europe and has a capacity of about 6,000 MW. It used to generate a quarter of all electric power in Ukraine. The Zaporozhye NPP consists of six power units and from 1996 it operated as a detached unit of the Energoatom national nuclear power generating company controlled by Kiev.
In March 2022, the Zaporozhye NPP was placed under the Russian army’s control. Currently, the NPP operates at 70% capacity as the area of the Zaporozhye Region liberated from the Ukrainian army has a surplus of electricity power. There are plans to direct part of electricity generated at the Zaporozhye NPP to Crimea.