Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky met with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi on Tuesday, according to a press officer in Zelensky’s office.
The meeting comes as Ukraine and Russia continue to accuse each other of shelling the area around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant ahead of a planned visit by a delegation of the IAEA, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, later of the week.
Zelensky told Grossi that the IAEA’s mission to Ukraine was “urgent” and that Ukraine wanted its team to do more than inspect the plant.
Zelensky said he hoped the delegation “will find an opportunity, thanks to our special services, thanks to the security corridors, to get to the station, and do everything possible to avoid all threats in a global scope.”
“Perhaps, now it is one of the most [high] priority issues regarding the security of Ukraine and the world,” Zelensky said.
He blamed the Russian military for “creating huge risks, about explosions, about the failure of nuclear reactors to work, about the dangers of disconnecting units of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant from our network, and about on the dangers of warming weather for our citizens.”
Zelensky urged the IAEA to do more than inspect the plant, saying that strategic decisions are needed “about the immediate demilitarization of the station, the removal of all, any, military personnel of Russian Federation with explosives, with any kind of weapon.”
Zelensky insisted that the area should become a demilitarized zone and there should be a transfer of the plant to the full control of the Ukrainian state.