Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), visited the city of Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine on Monday where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
While the city itself is under Ukrainian control, the nearby Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant — the largest such facility in Europe — has been occupied by Russian forces since close to the beginning of the full-scale invasion that began last year.
“I met with Zelenskyy today in Zaporizhzhia City and had a rich exchange on the protection of the Zaporizhzhia [nuclear power plant] and its staff,” Grossi wrote on Twitter.
“I reiterated the full support of the IAEA to Ukraine’s nuclear facilities.
Zaporizhzhia has been a hotspot of fighting between the two sides which has sparked severe concerns over the stability of the facility.
Shelling has cut power to the plant numerous times, forcing the Ukrainian workers who are still present to switch to back-up diesel generators with only limited fuel.
Grossi — who has visited the premises before — has warned of the dangers that a meltdown at the plant could cause not only in Ukraine, but in the wider region. He has previously called for a zone of protection to be set up around the facility to prevent any such incidents and has criticized Russian forces for stationing military vehicles and personnel on site.
UN Security Council won’t probe Nord Stream blasts
Russia failed to get the UN Security Council to request an independent inquiry into the explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea in September.
Russia, China and Brazil were the only council members who voted in favor of the Russia-drafted request.
US alternate representative to the UN Robert Wood said it was unnecessary for a probe when investigations by Sweden, Denmark and Germany “are proceeding in a comprehensive, transparent and impartial manner.”
“Without an objective and transparent international investigation the truth will not be uncovered as to what happened,” Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the council before the vote.
Ukraine receives Leopard tanks from Germany
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed that 18 Leopard 2 battle tanks had been delivered to Ukraine.
“We have delivered as announced,” Scholz said in Rotterdam during a press conference along with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
Scholz said Germany had been getting Ukrainian troops up to speed on how to use technologically advanced tanks.