Kremlin: Russia Not Pulling Troops Out of ZNPP, Kiev Must Be Forced to Stop Shelling Nuclear Plant
10:09 GMT 12.09.2022 (Updated: 20:56 GMT 19.10.2022)
© SputnikZaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant.
The nuclear power plant in the Zaporozhye region, the biggest in Europe, has been under shelling by Ukrainian forces for almost two months, despite calls from Moscow to stop to avert a nuclear disaster. The Kremlin dismissed Kiev's claims of targeting Russian weapons placed there as false and accused Ukraine of nuclear blackmail.
Russia is not planning on pulling out its troops out from the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stated in response to a journalist's question about whether Moscow would honor such a request from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Peskov further stated that in the context of the situation at the ZNPP, the key issue right now is to stop its shelling by Ukrainian troops.
"The key issue right now is to force the Ukrainian side to stop the barbaric shelling of objects on the territory of the station, which could lead to very sad and catastrophic consequences," he said.
The Kremlin spokesman added that Moscow calls on all countries which exert influence on Kiev to force it to stop the shelling of the nuclear plant.
The ZNPP has been under constant shelling by Ukrainian troops for around two months despite the Kremlin's repeated warnings that any bombing might disrupt the plant's functioning and lead to a nuclear disaster. Due to constant threats and occasional destruction of power lines, including the ones that power the ZNPP's equipment and safety mechanisms, all of the plant's reactors have been stopped.
The nearby territories, such as the city of Energodar which is controlled by the Russian military, are currently being powered from the Russian power grid due to the halting of the ZNPP reactors and Kiev's destruction of the local power lines.
Ukraine justifies the shelling by claiming that Russia deployed heavy weaponry at the station. Moscow vehemently denies these claims and insists that Kiev is engaged in the nuclear blackmail of Europe to force it to send more weapons to Ukraine.
Moscow agreed to receive an IAEA mission at the plant to monitor its state and release a third party's account of what is happening at the ZNPP. However, both the IAEA and European countries have so far refused to condemn or even recognize Kiev's shelling of the power plant.