Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said on March 5 that negotiations to bring the occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant back under Ukrainian control reached a "dead end," and situation at the plant is "significantly deteriorating."
Speaking on the national television, Halushchenko again for demilitarilization of Europe's largest nuclear plant, as well as for all employees of Russian state-owned nuclear power conglomerate Rosatom to leave the territory. He emphasized that Ukrainian staff should be able to operate the nuclear facility "without pressure."
Halushchenko's repeated calls for Russian troops to leave the plant's territory comes a few months after Russian President Vladimir Putin a decree ordering the illegal transfer of the facility in southeastern Ukraine to Russian ownership.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) personnel has been working on site since September to keep a close watch on the situation evolving in the Moscow-held plant.
"The IAEA mission confirms that the Russians are operating the plant in such a way that the condition of the equipment and facilities at the ZNPP is significantly deteriorating," Halushchenko said.
"There is a feeling that one of the goals of the invaders is to leave it to us in a non-working state after de-occupation," he added.