Clear To IAEA That ZNPP Belongs To Ukraine - Grossi

(MENAFN- UkrinForm) It is very clear to the IAEA that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, currently held by the Russian forces, is a Ukrainian facility, but the organization refrains from calling Russia out over seizing the NPP because this could harm the IAEA's technical work to ensure nuclear safety.

This was stated by the Director General of the International Atomic energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, who spoke in an interview with Ukrinform.

"The IAEA has a very concrete role to play there, because the IAEA is the only international organization deployed and permanently working in occupied territory, in Ukrainian territory, which has been occupied, specifically at a piece of infrastructure that belongs to Ukraine that is under Russian management. It's not nice to hear or to say, but this is the reality," Grossi said, commenting on the accusations of the IAEA's insufficiently resolute stance regarding Russia's occupation of the Zaporizhzhia NPP.

According to the top official, this means that "for us to be able to protect the facility, to work efficiently there, we need to focus on the technical work that we have to perform there."

"And it's a very delicate balance, because, quite clearly, I interact with the Ukrainian government – and there is no problem with the President, Foreign Minister, Minister of Energy, Nuclear Regulator, and entire community in Ukraine – but I also must interact with the Russian management and even with their government, as they are in control. The discussion here isn't about whether this is good or bad. For the IAEA, it's very clear that this is a Ukrainian facility," he said.

Read also: IAEA says mine exploded at Zaporizhzhia NP

“I would not be making my job any easier if I involved myself into the area of political statements. This would make my work considerably more difficult, if not impossible,” Grossi said, noting that for the IAEA, this particular situation is very unique“because we need to have a functional working relationship with Russia".

“It would be even more clear. Ukrainians are very clear people. If I go and tell somebody, "You must go away, you are a thief, you are this or that," it's very difficult to work the next day. And to work on nuclear safety, nuclear security, and others very technical things that we need to protect," said the IAEA Director General.

Read also: Galushchenko discusses situation at ZNPP with Grossi

According to Grossi, his role is "to avoid a nuclear accident", and to this end, "the position of the Agency must be very well-balanced".

"So we are not saying every time this does not belong to you. This is assumed. From the moment I say this is a Ukrainian nuclear facility, it is clear who the owner of the facility is. And then we look into the technical factors, the technical decisions that are taken," he said.

As reported, the ZNPP has been under Russian occupation since March 4, 2022. Since then, the Russians have repeatedly violated the principles of nuclear safety, deploying military equipment on the premises, mining the territory and terrorizing the personnel. The invaders ignore the IAEA's decision to have the ZNPP returned to Ukraine's control.



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