Ukraine’s state nuclear inspector on Friday accused the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of falling for Russian propaganda and demanded that Kiev’s efforts to expel Moscow’s forces from a major power plant be repulsed.
The allegation coincides with signs of growing dissatisfaction on the part of the Ukrainian authorities that the war against Russia is less than the sincere support of the international community.
Moscow forces occupy the Zaporizhiya nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe. Shortly before the attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine was using Soviet knowledge to build its own nuclear weapons.
IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi told the World Economic Forum in Davos this week that the plant had large reserves of plutonium and enriched uranium that could be used to make nuclear weapons, said Oleg Korikov, acting chief of staff. Korikov said it was completely untrue.
“It is very sad that the bold lies of the Russian propaganda are being broadcast at a high level by the top officials of the IAEA,” he said in a statement posted on the visitor’s Facebook page.
Korikov also complained that the IAEA – the UN nuclear watchdog – had not responded to numerous requests from Ukraine to do more about what Russia called “nuclear terrorism.”
He called on Grossi to support Ukraine’s demand for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops and nuclear experts from the Zaporizhiya plant.
The IAEA Media Relations Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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