Ulyanov: An accident in "Zaporozhye" could create a radiation zone with a radius of five thousand kilometers

Zaporozhye / Photo: EPA-EFE / SERGEI ILNITSKY

Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey и Abkhazia (in Georgia) are among the countries that will be directly threatened by radiation if there is a serious accident in the nuclear power plant "Zaporozhye" located in the southern part of Ukraine, warned the permanent representative of Russia in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Mikhail Ulyanov, referring to Russian military experts, he told "Russia 24" television that in the event of a serious accident at the plant, the radiation zone would cover an area with a radius of five thousand kilometers, which means that the Donbass, a large part of Ukraine, parts of of Russia, but also Abkhazia, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.

Ulyanov adds that the General Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, is expected to submit a report to the UN Security Council on the situation surrounding the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. Earlier today, the First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, Dmitrij Poljanski, confirmed that the Security Council will hold a meeting on the issue tomorrow.

"In order for there to be an IAEA inspection at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the Ukrainian army must stop shelling it and not create obstacles," said Mikhail Ulyanov. According to his words, for the time being, the Ukrainian side "has not given the slightest reason to believe that Kyiv welcomes such a mission, but the opposite." He called Ukraine's claims that the Russian side shelled the nuclear power plant in Zaporozhye as 'another lie' and 'primitive propaganda'.

Moscow and Kyiv accuse each other of shelling the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

On June 3, Russia and the IAEA reached an agreement on the route and work schedule of a group of international inspectors at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant under the personal leadership of Grossi. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow later said that the activity was stopped at the last minute by the Security Department of the UN Secretariat.

Russian forces yesterday began installing anti-aircraft defense systems around the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, after rocket fire at the captured Ukrainian facility raised concerns over the safety of the installation.

"The anti-aircraft defense systems of the headquarters are being strengthened," Yevgeny Balitsky, head of the military administration of the Russian army for the Zaporozhye region, told Russian state television. Currently, the "Zaporozhye" power plant is working normally, and the transmission lines and damaged reactor units have been repaired, said Balitsky.

Ukrainian agencies report that the European Union, at a special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council held in Vienna, condemned Russia's military actions surrounding the Zaporozhye nuclear plant and demanded that control over the plant be immediately returned to the Ukrainian authorities.

"We also call on Moscow to refrain from any activities that threaten the safety" of the Zaporozhye NPP, the statement said. At the same time, the EU demands free and unrestricted access of IAEA observers to the plant, in order to verify its security.

The "Zaporozhye" nuclear power plant has been under the control of the Russian side since March 4, and currently the capacity is served by Russian personnel of about 500 people.

Ukrainian intelligence reported on August 6 that the Russian army blew up the energy units of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

IAEA representatives have not had access to the installation for more than five months.

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