Foreign Ministry: Russia blocks rotation of IAEA mission at occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Feb.19 that Russia had blocked the rotation of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts at Europe's largest nuclear power plant in the Ukrainian city of Energodar, which has been occupied shortly after Feb. 24. 

According to the ministry, Russia keeps actively deploying military equipment and servicemen to the facility: “Russia flagrantly violates the norms of international law, undermines the norms of nuclear and radiation safety."  

The Ministry added that Russia shows “complete disregard” for the IAEA’s demand to immediately withdraw weapons and military personnel from the plant. “If Russia is not stopped, its criminal actions at the Ukrainian nuclear power plant may lead to a catastrophe unknown to Europe." 

In December, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that "Russian withdrawal from Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant or transferring control over it to some third party is out of the question." 

On Feb.14, Ukraine's state nuclear energy operator Energoatom reported that Ukrainian workers at the occupied nuclear plant refused to train workers from the Russian Kalinin nuclear plants because they lacked the knowledge and skills to operate the plant.