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Moscow welcomes IAEA visit to Zaporizhia NPP, Russian ambassador tells state media

Russia’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Governor Mikhail Ulyanov attended the IAEA Board of Governors meeting on March 7 at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria. (Photo: Askin Giagan/Anatoly Agency/Getty Images)

Moscow welcomes a planned visit by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine occupied by Russian forces, a Russian diplomat said.

Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said Russia understood the IAEA would leave several representatives at the plant permanently, state media RIA Novosti reported.

“As far as we understand, the intention of the general director is to leave many people at the plant permanently,” Ulyanov was quoted as saying by RIA.

Ulyanov added that the mission included “a dozen employees of the agency’s secretariat dealing with nuclear safety and security issues” and a large group of UN staff dealing with logistics and security, RIA reported.

“Russia has made a significant contribution to the preparation of this mission. We believe that the visit of the plant by the IAEA mission will dispel many speculations about the unfavorable status of the Zaporizhia NPP,” Ulyanov added.

what happened? Earlier this Monday, IAEA President Raffaele Mariano Croci tweeted that a delegation would arrive in Zaporizhia, home to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, “this weekend.”

The Kremlin said on Monday that the IAEA mission would enter the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant from the Ukrainian side, but that Russia would guarantee its security in territory occupied by the Russian military.

“As far as the territory under Russian control is concerned, there will be the necessary level of security,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a regular conference call.

“[La misión] They will enter the border [de la central nuclear] From an area under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. There, security will be provided by Ukrainians,” Peskov added.

Asked about the possibility of creating a demilitarized zone around the plant, Peskov said “it’s not under discussion.”

Peskov also said that Russia welcomes the long-awaited IAEA mission.

“We have been waiting for this task for a long time. We consider it necessary,” Peskov said.

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Esmond Harmon

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