Live news updates: Zelenskyy criticises UN for not demanding ‘demilitarisation’ of nuclear plant
Ukraine’s president has criticised the UN’s atomic watchdog for not calling for “demilitarisation” of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, where its inspectors arrived on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, we also have not yet heard from the International Atomic Energy Agency the key thing — the call to Russia regarding the demilitarisation of the plant. And how can you do without it?” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
Addressing the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy via video link, Zelenskyy expressed “hope that the mission will adhere to what the parties have agreed upon and what is in the interests of the entire international community”.
“It is impossible to leave the military of the terrorist state at the nuclear power plant,” Zelenskyy added.
Ukraine and its western backers have repeatedly called upon Russia to demilitarise the plant and return control to Kyiv.
Ukraine and Russia have accused one another’s armed forces of conducting artillery strikes and other provocations at the plant.
After visiting the plant on Thursday and leaving behind a handful of inspectors for a “continued” presence, IAEA general director Rafael Grossi confirmed evidence of military strikes.
“The plant and the physical integrity of the plant have been violated several times . . . This is something that cannot continue to happen,” Grossi added.
Zelenskyy also said the IAEA mission “did not put enough pressure” on Russia to allow independent media into the occupied region where the plant is located.
“Without the admission of independent journalists, Russian propagandists would dominate the place,” Zelenskyy added.