According to its chief Rafael Mariano Grossi, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is signing an agreement to ensure the safety of nuclear facilities in Ukraine.
“We’re negotiating, we’re getting closer to what we’re aiming for as the final phase of our consultations,” Grossi said said the European legislator on Monday, adding he hopes to reach an agreement “very soon”.
The talks, which began on March 10, are “very sensitive” diplomatically, he said.
The future framework will contain “no political references to the situation in the works or any connection that could be construed as legitimizing the presence of anyone in a foreign territory,” Grossi said, responding to concerns he was being used by Moscow to legitimize could become control of parts of the territory of Ukraine.
He added that it will require Russia and Ukraine to “comply with some of the rules … which have been repeatedly violated since the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, with enormous risk to the population, local, regional and European populations”.
Russian troops have taken control of the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the active Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, raising fears of a possible nuclear catastrophe and major environmental damage.
Grossi has repeatedly expressed concern about nuclear safety throughout the conflict, but the IAEA has never explicitly warned of an imminent danger outside Ukraine.
Speaking to MEPs on Monday, he stressed that “nuclear power plants are very robust, they can withstand an airplane falling on them”. It would take “massive resources” to get to the core of a reactor. He also reiterated that attacking nuclear power plants would be a violation of international law.
Once the framework is agreed, Grossi said he hopes to send IAEA experts to Ukraine “to ease the situation there, including as a deterrent to new, complicated and dangerous events”.
Experts will also try to gather “credible, objective information” about the situation on the ground, he said, noting that it is “becoming increasingly difficult” to establish the facts of the situation “because there are conflicting narratives about what is happening “.
https://www.politico.eu/article/deal-ukraine-nuclear-safety-iaea-chief-russia-war/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication A deal on Ukraine's nuclear safety is set to come "soon," says IAEA chief - POLITICO