Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has stated that Russian troops occupying the wrecked Chernobyl nuclear power plant must leave the area after Ukraine’s armed forces warned of the risk of munitions exploding at the facility.
“We demand that the UN Security Council immediately take measures to demilitarize the Chernobyl exclusion zone and introduce a special UN mission there to eliminate the risk of repeating a nuclear catastrophe,” she said in a video posted on Telegram on March 30.
Vereshchuk also stated that during the March 29 negotiations, Ukraine asked Russia to authorize the establishment of 97 humanitarian corridors to Ukraine’s worst-affected areas.
After the Russian military assumed control of the Chernobyl complex on February 24, the day Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian personnel have continued to maintain the site.
Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), visited Ukraine on March 29 to meet with senior government officials to provide “immediate technical support” to maintain the safety and security of the country’s nuclear facilities’ safety and security the face of Russia’s ongoing invasion.
“We can’t afford to lose any more time. This conflict is already causing unimaginable human suffering and destruction. The IAEA’s expertise and capabilities are needed to prevent it from also leading to a nuclear accident,” Grossi said in a statement.
Grossi’s stay in Ukraine was not specified, though.