The shelling of the Zaporozhye NPP by the Kiev government forces create a radioactive threat for Ukraine and the entire Europe, the Russian embassy in Washington said in a statement on Sunday.
"We paid attention to the disinformation campaign unfolding in the US media in order to attribute responsibility for the situation with the Zaporozhye NPP to our country. It is indiscriminately claimed that the Russian military launched artillery strikes on the territory of the nuclear power plant," the embassy said, TASS reported.
"We note that this is not the first provocation by Kiev at radiation-hazardous sites. The shelling of the Zaporozhye NPP by the Ukrainian armed formations is deliberate. In order to discredit Russia, the Ukrainian authorities do not shun anything, creating a real threat to the nuclear security not only of Ukraine, but of Europe as well," it said.
According to Russia's Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response, Ukrainian nationalists launched an artillery strike on the territory of the nuclear power plant on August 5. Two high-voltage power lines and a water pipeline were damaged as a result of the shelling.
"Only thanks to the effective and timely actions of the Russian military in covering the nuclear power facility, its critical infrastructure was not affected," the Russian embassy in the US said.
The Russian diplomats called upon the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "to condemn the criminal actions of Kiev and take urgent measures to prevent provocations at radiation-hazardous facilities in Ukraine," as well as American journalists "to stop spreading Russophobic fabrications".
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters in Tokyo on Monday, that the United Nations hopes that attacks on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant would stop, and the International Atomic Energy Agency would be granted access to the facility.
"We fully support the IAEA in all their efforts in relation to creating conditions for stabilization of that plant. Any attack on a nuclear power plant is a suicidal thing, and I hope that those attacks will end. And, at the same time, I hope that the IAEA will be able to have access to the plant," he said.
The city administration of Energodar where the NPP is located said on Saturday that the Ukrainian side had shelled the area three times during the day. On Friday, Ukrainian troops shelled the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. Following this attack, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi said he was concerned by this attack and urged all combat operation threatening the plant's security be stopped.
By today, Kiev has lost control over more than 70% of the territory of the Zaporozhye region. Peaceful life is gradually restoring on these territories, which are being integrated into Russia's legal and economic framework. Local authorities say they want to join Russia and organize a referendum on this matter in September. Ukraine, however, continues to shell civilian facilities on liberated territories. - FNA