Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday met with the head of the UN nuclear watchdog, who arrived in Kyiv to monitor the situation in Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
“Today, the situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) is one of the most important security issues for Ukraine and the whole world. There are great risks regarding possible explosions at the plant, failure of nuclear reactors, disconnection of Zaporizhzhia NPP units from the Ukrainian network,” said Zelenskyy on Telegram.
He called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission led by Rafael Grossi to “do everything possible” to avert a possible nuclear disaster.
On Thursday, the power plant was temporarily disconnected from Ukraine’s electricity grid after the last remaining power line caught fire due to shelling.
Electricity from the facility resumed on Friday, according to Ukraine’s state nuclear power company Energoatom.
Russian forces captured the facility shortly after the war in Ukraine began on Feb. 24.
Since then, the international community, including the EU, UN, and US, have warned Moscow repeatedly not to use the plant as a shield in its forces’ attacks on Ukraine and to stop breaching atomic safety rules.
The Zaporizhzhia facility produces around 20% of Ukraine’s electricity.
‘Bipartisan, bicameral support of US Congress is extremely valuable’
Separately, the Ukrainian leader welcomed US Senators Rob Portman and Amy Klobuchar as he wrote on Telegram that the “bipartisan and bicameral support of Congress is extremely valuable to us.”
“The development of the situation at the front was discussed in detail. I am grateful to the United States for the security assistance! It should be continued and increased. This is important for the victory of Ukraine,” he added.
Urging the sanctions against Russia to be intensified, Zelenskyy said: “One of the elements of such pressure should be the introduction of visa restrictions for the citizens of the Russian Federation. So that the Russians feel the consequences of their own support for aggression against our country.”
The US and its Western allies have worked to implement sweeping sanctions on Russia to pressure it into ending the war in Ukraine.