On a working visit to Ukraine, UN Secretary-General Guterres urged Russia to remove all soldiers from the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. But that call for demilitarization is called unacceptable by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
In the city of Lviv, Guterres once again expressed his great concerns about the situation at the nuclear power plant. The nuclear complex near Zaporizhia has been shot several times in recent times. Moscow and Kiev are accusing each other of these artillery shelling. The Kremlin is threatening to shut down the nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, much to the fear of the Ukrainian government.
“This complex should not be used for any military operation,” the UN boss in Lviv told journalists. He wants to conclude an agreement quickly so that the Zaporizhia plant becomes a civilian zone “to ensure the safety of the environment”.
But the Russian army units that control the nuclear power plant are not leaving for the time being. Removing soldiers and equipment will only make the complex more vulnerable, says a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry in response to Guterres proposal.
According to President Zelensky, the option of a visit by international atomic agency IAEA to the nuclear power plant was discussed with Guterres today. Earlier in the day, the president spoke of “nuclear blackmail” by Moscow.
If the Kremlin does indeed decide to shut down the nuclear power plant, that could have major consequences. According to experts, this is a complicated process. In case of errors, there is a risk of overheating of the nuclear reactor.
In addition, Kiev fears that Moscow will connect the nuclear power plant to the Russian network. If the power plant is then turned on again, Russia can use the generated energy itself, Ukraine states.
In addition to Guterres, Turkish President Erdogan was also in Ukraine today. He spoke with the UN boss and the Ukrainian president about a diplomatic solution to the war. No concrete results have been announced.
Erdogan said there had been talk, among other things, about the exchange of prisoners. He was also due to discuss that topic with Russian President Putin soon. Russia and Ukraine have already exchanged prisoners several times.