UN Denies Delaying Zaporizhzhya NPP Nuclear Checks

United Nations Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric has denied allegations that the organization is delaying the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant checks urged by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

During a briefing in New York, Dujarric said that the UN has “no authority to either block or cancel any IAEA activities.”

Dujarric clarified that IAEA is an independent agency that decides itself “how to implement its specific mandate,” and asserted that the UN will support the Zaporizhzhya NPP checks.

“The UN Secretariat has assessed that it has in Ukraine the logistics and security capacity to be able to support any IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant from Kyiv, should both Ukrainian and Russian authorities agree,” said Dujarric. 

IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi previously called for an inspection of the Zaporizhzhya NPP after several parts of it were damaged due to a recent shelling that Ukraine and Russia have blamed on each other.

Although it has denied reports that it has shelled the area, Russia does not deny having troops stationed at the plant. Moscow accuses Ukrainian soldiers of firing artillery shells there instead, a claim that Ukrainian officials dispute.

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova said that the Kremlin will cooperate with the IAEA in order for the Zaporizhzhya NPP assessments to proceed.

“In close cooperation with the agency and its leadership, we will do everything necessary to make it possible for IAEA specialists to appear at the station,” said Zakharova.

Meanwhile, in a joint statement, 42 nations denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and said that the presence of Russian military personnel at the plant prevented officials from upholding their duties on nuclear and radiation safety.

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