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HomeRussiaRussia says there will be no withdrawal from Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

Russia says there will be no withdrawal from Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

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The Russian Foreign Ministry appears to have dealt a blow to proposals by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to create a demilitarized and protected zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova responded to a question from a Russian news agency about the status of the plant, which has been occupied by Russian forces since early March.

The news agency asked: “The head of the IAEA R[afael]. Grossi said that experts are close to an acceptable agreement between Ukraine and Russia on the creation of a security zone around the Zaporizhzhya NPP (ZNPP). How would you comment on this statement? Is it possible to transfer control over ZNPP to a third party? Is the visit of the head of the IAEA R. Grossi to Russia expected?” here has been no response from the IAEA to the latest word from Moscow.

Last week, Director General of the IAEA Rafael Grossi said he hoped to reach an agreement with Russia and Ukraine on protecting the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant by year’s end.

“My commitment is to reach a solution as soon as possible. I hope by the end of the year. I know that President Putin is following the process and I do not rule out another meeting with him soon, as well as with Ukrainian President Zelensky,” Grossi said in an interview published Friday with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

He told La Repubblica: “There is a concrete proposal on securing Zaporizhzhia and important progress has been made….The two sides now agree on some basic principles. The first is that of protection: it means accepting that you don’t shoot ‘on’ the plant and ‘from’ the plant. The second is the recognition that the IAEA is the only possible way forward: that was the heart of my meeting with President Putin in St. Petersburg on October 11.”

“Russia is not against an agreement and the principle of protecting the plant,” he added.

As for the Ukrainian side, Grossi said: “The withdrawal of armaments from the plant is what, understandably from their point of view, the Ukrainians are demanding. And it would still be part of the overall agreement.”

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