The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that as long as the war continues it will have inspectors at all Ukraine's nuclear power plants to reduce the risk of serious accidents occurring. The IAEA already has a permanent presence at Ukraine's and Europe's largest nuclear plant, Zaporijia, which has been bombed and is so far under the control of Russian troops.
According to IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi, technicians from the UN nuclear agency will also remain in Chernobyl where, in 1986, there was the most serious nuclear accident in history. "Kiev asked for the installation of these missions because there are simply attacks against them and we want to avoid nuclear accidents, so we turn to the IAEA for safety and security. There will be two flags in all nuclear facilities in Ukraine, one of Ukraine and the second of the international nuclear agency," said Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. Grossi added that the IAEA flags flying in Ukraine are not only symbolic, but reflect and signify the presence of some of the most renowned safety and security experts who will provide advice and technical support.
The IAEA's support for Ukraine comes shortly after last weekend's Russian missile attack on an apartment building in the southeastern city of Dnipro that killed 45 civilians, and the crash of a helicopter into a kindergarten in the Kiev region that killed the Ukrainian interior minister, for a total of 14 dead. According to Grossi, the officials will remain at the facility for as long as requested by the government of Ukraine.
In addition, Shmygal called on the nuclear agency to apply sanctions against Russia and to stop any mode of nuclear cooperation with Moscow. However, Grossi stressed that such a measure is up to the member states of the United Nations.
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