The nuclear experts will present their report on the Zaporizhzhia NPP in a few days

Kyiv wants to support Germany on its way out of dependence on Russian energy by supplying it with nuclear power

Given the continued shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant occupied by Russian troops, international experts fear for the safety of the site after their visit. Their biggest concern remains that the nuclear plant could be seriously damaged by further shelling, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi said in Vienna. While the damage was obvious and unacceptable, important safety features, such as the power plant’s power supply, were functioning, he said.

Cooperation between the Russian occupiers and Ukrainian officials functioned to some extent and on a professional level, Grossi said Friday evening after returning from Ukraine at Vienna airport. In the coming week, he expects a detailed analysis of the power plant’s safety from his experts who remain on the ground in Ukraine. Six IAEA experts are still at the nuclear power plant. Four will return and two will remain in place for the time being.

Grossi said he did not get the impression that the Russian occupiers were hiding anything. “We saw everything I wanted to see,” Grossi said. A major difference compared to before, he says, is that he now learns from his own sources what is happening on the ground.

The head of the IAEA confirmed that he considers the mission of his agency to be permanent. “The IAEA is there to stay as long as necessary. Currently, Ukraine and Russia have agreed on this. He is aware that things can change. What worries him most right now is that the intensity of the war over the power plant is increasing, Grossi says.

IAEA experts have been in the town of the Energodar power plant since Thursday. The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant came under Moscow’s control in early March, shortly after the Russian invasion. Repeated shelling of the power plant site and the neighboring town has heightened international fears of a possible nuclear disaster. Russia and Ukraine have repeatedly accused each other of artillery fire. With its six units and a net capacity of 5,700 megawatts, the nuclear power plant is the largest in Europe. Before the start of the war, over 10,000 people worked there.

Ukraine fires at Russian artillery positions next to the nuclear power plant

Ukraine says it has shelled Russian artillery positions not far from the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. “We confirm that our troops in the area of ​​Kherson and Energodar settlements destroyed three enemy artillery systems with accurate strikes,” the Ukrainian General Staff reported on Facebook on Friday evening. An ammunition depot and at least one company were also destroyed from the Russian army.

According to the report, the Russian occupiers removed all military equipment from the nuclear power plant site and moved it to adjacent locations before the arrival of the IAEA expert team. The information cannot be independently verified. Russia has always maintained that it had no heavy weapons at the power plant site.

Zelensky welcomes the planned capping of the price of Russian oil

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly accused Russia of nuclear terrorism in connection with the situation around the nuclear power plant. On the other hand, Russia rejects calls to return the power plant to the control of Ukraine, because according to Moscow, Kyiv cannot guarantee the security of the facilities in time of war.

Meanwhile, Zelensky welcomed the West’s planned new energy sanctions against Russian oil as a sign of support for his country. “The time for sanctions is long overdue,” the head of state said in a video released Friday evening. “Sanctions will not only limit the flow of petrodollars and gas euros to Moscow, but also restore justice for all Europeans who have been blackmailed by Russia with artificially induced price crisis in the energy market’.

As economically strong democracies, the G7 group of seven leading industrial nations, including Germany and France, want to ensure that Russia earns less from its oil. This also aims to cut off the source of funding for the war against Ukraine. The goal is an international limitation of Russian oil import prices. In a joint statement on Friday, G7 finance ministers urged all oil-importing countries to join the measure. Despite the US embargo on its oil, Russia continues to make a lot of money from the “black gold” that is sold to, for example, India.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (left) meets with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi (right) in Kyiv, Ukraine, August 30, 2022. Photo: EPA/UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE HANDOUT

The price cap will help protect civilian states and energy markets from Russian aggression in the energy sector, Zelensky said. He expressed his gratitude to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, for this proposal. Ukraine needs Europe’s support. Aid to Ukraine is equal to the protection of “the entire democratic world”, Zelensky also said.

Ukraine wants to supply nuclear energy to Germany

Meanwhile, Kyiv wants to support Germany on its way to weaning itself off Russian energy by supplying it with nuclear power. “Ukraine currently exports electricity to Moldova, Romania, Slovakia and Poland. But we are fully ready to expand our exports to Germany,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmykhal told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

In parallel with the Russian invasion in late February, Ukraine and neighboring Moldova cut themselves off from the former Soviet power grid. In mid-March, it was synchronized with the European network. Since then, the country has been exporting between 400 and 700 megawatts of electricity daily to the EU and Moldova. Now Schmihal wants to multiply the export quotas for the EU. Ukraine operates Soviet-designed nuclear power plants with a total capacity of more than 14 gigawatts, including Zaporizhia. Since the Russian invasion began, electricity consumption in Ukraine has dropped significantly due to the mass flight of the population and the economic collapse. This freed up additional capacities for Ukrainian electricity exports.

What will be important on Saturday

Schmihal is expected in Berlin on Saturday and will be received by Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the Chancellery on Sunday.

The article is in bulgaria

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