Europe Foreign

Putin Agrees To Allow Inspectors At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has said UN officials will be granted permission to visit and inspect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex.

The Kremlin made the announcement after a call between Mr Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron.

It came as claims of fighting near the plant continued, with four civilians reportedly injured by Russian shelling.

The US pledged on Friday to send more arms and ammunitions to assist in Ukraine’s war effort.

In a read-out following the call between the French and Russian leaders, the Kremlin said, Mr Putin had agreed to provide UN investigators with “the necessary assistance” to access the Zaporizhzhia nuclear site.

The plant has been under Russian occupation since early March but Ukrainian technicians still operate it under Russian direction.

“Both leaders noted the importance” of sending the IAEA experts to the plant for an assessment of “the situation on the ground”, the Kremlin said.

The director-general of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), welcomed Mr Putin’s statement and said he was willing to lead a visit to the plant himself.

“In this highly volatile and fragile situation, it is of vital importance that no new action is taken that could further endanger the safety and security of one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants,” Rafael Grossi said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the prospect of an inspection in his nightly address, but said specific details were still being worked out.

“If Russian blackmail with radiation continues, this summer may go down in the history of various European countries as one of the most tragic of all time,” he said

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