Russia’s Foreign Ministry has once again accused the United Nations of blocking a mission of experts to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.
No one is as interested in an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission to the nuclear plant as Russia, ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova was quoted as saying by dpa news agency.
That the trip has not yet taken place, she said, is the “sad consequence of foul play by the United Nations Secretariat”.
Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has been occupied by Russian troops since March. The area surrounding the plant and the nearby town of Enerhodar have been shelled frequently during the past several weeks, with Russia and Ukraine trading blame for the attacks.
There are fears that the warfare could damage the facility and potentially result in a nuclear disaster.
Kiev and its Western allies are demanding the area be demilitarised. They also agree with Moscow that a team of inspectors needs to get to Zaporizhzhya to make sure critical safety and control systems are operating.
But the IAEA mission has so far foundered on a dispute over whether the experts will arrive via Russian-controlled territory or – which would be customary under international law – Ukrainian territory.
A spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has repeatedly rejected Moscow’s claim that the UN leadership is hindering the mission.