The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) does not recognize the transfer of control of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) to Russia

In a conversation with President Volodymyr Zelensky, the agency’s leader Raphael Grossi made clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree to take control of the plant goes against international law.

He also promised that Ukraine would be the only country the IAEA contacts for any station-related issues.

“We were very much waiting for a strong statement from the IAEA on this issue. Society is also waiting for this condemnation” declared the President.

He added that almost 500 Russian occupiers are present at the station and only Ukrainian specialists can ensure its proper operation.

President Putin signed a decree on Wednesday, Oct. 6 placing the Russian-occupied nuclear power plant – the largest in Europe – under Russian state control, and amending the country’s constitution to admit four annexed regions of Ukraine into the Russian Federation.

Putin also instructed his cabinet to devise a plan on how the site (occupied by Russian forces since March) should be operated and regulated.

Reacting to the concerning developments, Grossi, head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency, issued a tweet on Wednesday evening: “On our way to Kyiv for important meetings. The need for a Nuclear Safety and Security Protection Zone (NSSPZ) around #Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant is now more urgent than ever.”

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