Russian President Vladimir Putin warned French President Emmanuel Macron that shelling of the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, which he blamed on Kiev, could result in a large-scale disaster.
Moscow and Kiev have accused each other of shelling Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which Russia seized in March but is still operated by Ukrainian technicians. Only two of the six reactors at the facility are operational.
“Vladimir Putin, in particular, stressed that the Ukrainian military’s systematic shelling of the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant created the danger of a large-scale catastrophe that could lead to radiation contamination of vast territories,” the Kremlin said in a readout of the call, which it said was initiated by Macron.
Ukraine and Russia have both accused one another of plotting provocations at the plant. According to Kyiv, Russian forces intended to disconnect the facility from the Ukrainian power grid and connect it to the Russian one.
According to the Kremlin, Putin and Macron stressed the importance of sending an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) delegation to the plant as soon as possible.
According to the Kremlin, Putin confirmed Russia’s readiness to provide IAEA inspectors with the necessary assistance.
During the call, Putin also informed Macron about the ongoing difficulties in supplying Russian food and fertilizer products to global markets.