Russia-Ukraine Updates: IAEA Team Heads to Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant | News | DW
A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) left the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Wednesday to inspect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after nearby shelling raised fears of a radioactive disaster.
Russian forces captured the factory shortly after launching their invasion of Ukraine on February 24 and it is close to the front line. Russia and Ukraine traded accusations of shelling that endangered the plant.
The mission is led by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi and comes after lengthy negotiations. “We are finally moving after six months of hard work,” Grossi told reporters before the convoy set off, adding that the mission planned to spend “a few days” at the site.
“We have a very important job to do there – to assess the real situations there, to help stabilize the situation as much as possible,” he added.
It was unclear when the IAEA team would reach Europe’s largest nuclear power plant and when it would carry out its inspection. Both warring sides have reported regular shelling in the surrounding area in recent days.
Grossi said the IAEA hopes to set up a permanent mission at the plant, which is run by Ukrainian technicians. Grossi said one of the mission’s priorities would be to talk to them. “It’s one of the most important things I want to do and I will do it,” he said.
Here’s a look at some of the other key developments regarding Russia’s August 31 invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister urges EU to ban Russian tourists
The European Union should ban Russian tourists, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said, urging the bloc’s foreign ministers meeting in Prague to take an unlikely step due to deep divisions over the issue.
“A visa ban for Russian tourists and certain other categories will be an appropriate response to Russia’s genocidal war of aggression in the heart of Europe, supported by an overwhelming majority of Russian citizens,” Kuleba said in a statement. emailed to Reuters news agency.
Eastern and Nordic countries strongly support a tourism ban, while Germany and France have warned their peers it would be counterproductive, saying ordinary Russians should still be allowed access to the West.
The bloc’s diplomacy chief, Josep Borrell, has warned that the European Union must not appear to disagree over demands from Eastern Europe to ban visas for Russian tourists, urging member states to find common ground.
“We will have to come to an agreement and a political decision,” Josep Borrell told reporters as he arrived for the second day of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Prague.
EU ministers should agree in principle on suspending a visa facilitation deal with Moscow – meaning Russians would have to wait longer and pay more for visas – but not on an outright ban. simple to travel within the EU.
Ukrainian troops have pushed back the front line in places – UK Ministry of Defense
The British Ministry of Defense said in its daily intelligence bulletin that Ukrainian armed forces have continued to attack the Russian Southern Force Grouping on several axes across the south of the country since Monday.
According to the ministry, Ukrainian formations pushed back the front line in some places, exploiting the relatively weak Russian defenses.
Russia will now likely try to fill gaps in its line using pre-designated mobile reserve units, the ministry said.
The intelligence bulletin also mentions that Russia continues to accelerate attempts to generate new reinforcements for Ukraine.
Learn more about the war in Ukraine
Russian energy giant Gazprom said that due to maintenance of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, there will be no gas flow to Germany between August 31 and September 3. Berlin has accused Moscow of militarizing the energy supply.
The EU will work to “define the parameters” of a collective mission to help train Ukraine’s military to fight the Russian invasion, the bloc’s foreign policy chief has said.
The Ukrainian Football Premier League returned to play this month in a defiant move aimed at helping distract people from the horrors of the Russian invasion. A recent match between Rukh Lviv and Kharkhiv took hours to complete as the air raid sirens sounded repeatedly.
dh/wd (AFP, dpa, Reuters)