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Biden, European leaders discuss Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant fears

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Washington | August 22, 2022 5:27:36 AM IST
US President Joe Biden on Sunday called the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom and expressed concern about the importance of protecting the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

The call between the leaders comes as the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has intensified and the fears of a nuclear disaster at Europe's largest nuclear power plant have steadily increased, the Hill reported.

On Sunday's call, Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed the need to avoid military operations near the plant.

According to the Hill, the leaders also underlined the fact that it is a dire need in the current times for the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit the site in order to make a determination on the safety of the plant and its operations.

Notably, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also agreed to allow IAEA agents to inspect the nuclear plant and also warned last week of "catastrophic consequences" if fighting continues near Zaporizhzhia.

Furthermore, Biden also discussed with the European leaders' ongoing negotiations with Iran over reviving a 2015 nuclear agreement that lifted sanctions on the Middle Eastern nation in return for the country not developing nuclear-grade material or weapons.

Earlier on August 19, after holding trilateral talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ukraine's Lviv, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a demilitarization of the area around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant stating that any damage to the largest nuclear power station of Europe would be suicide.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), located in southern Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia region has become a regular site for shelling in Ukraine and Moscow and Kyiv have each accused the other of striking the compound on Thursday and over the weekend.

Moreover, a delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency is likely to visit Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in early September.

On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine after the Ukrainian breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk asked for Russian help against Ukrainian forces. Russia maintains that the aim of the military operations is to "demilitarize" and "denazify" Ukraine.

As a result of this, the Western countries have also imposed several crippling sanctions on Moscow. (ANI)

 
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