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Ukraine launches counterattack in the south

Ukraine launches counterattack in the south

A Russian diplomat told state media that Moscow welcomes the International Atomic Energy Agency’s trip to the Zaporizhia nuclear plant

Russia’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Governor Mikhail Ulyanov attends a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on March 7. (Photo: Askin Kiyagan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

A Russian diplomat said Moscow welcomes the International Atomic Energy Agency’s planned trip to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine, which is occupied by Russian forces.

The Russian Information Agency (RIA Novosti) reported that the permanent Russian representative to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said that Russia understands that the International Atomic Energy Agency will leave many representatives at the station permanently.

“As far as we understand, the intention of the general manager is to leave several people at the plant permanently,” RIA quoted Ulyanov as saying.

Ulyanov added that the mission consists of “dozens of the agency’s secretariat staff dealing with nuclear safeguards and safety issues,” as well as a large team of UN staff dealing with logistics and security, RIA reported.

“Russia made a significant contribution to the preparation of this mission. We hope that the visit of the IAEA mission will dispel many speculations about the unfavorable state of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant,” Ulyanov added.

What is happening? Earlier on Monday, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Mariano Grossi tweeted that the delegation would arrive in Zaporizhia – home to Europe’s largest nuclear facility – “this weekend”.

Today, Monday, the Kremlin said that the International Atomic Energy Agency mission will enter the Zaporizhia nuclear plant from the Ukrainian side, but that Russia will guarantee its security in the territories occupied by the Russian army.

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“As far as the territory controlled by Russia, security there will be provided at the appropriate level required,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a regular conference call.

“[La misiĆ³n] You will enter the territory [de la central nuclear] From the area controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Peskov added that the Ukrainians will provide security there.”

Asked about the possibility of creating a demilitarized zone around the plant, Peskov said that the matter was “not in discussion.”

Peskov added that Russia welcomes the long-awaited mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“We have been waiting for this task for a long time. We consider it necessary,” Peskov said.