Last Updated: August 29, 2022, 16:35 IST
The Kremlin called on the international community on Monday to put pressure on Ukraine to reduce military tension at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, accusing Kyiv of endangering Europe ahead of a visit to the facility by the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said earlier on Monday that it would inspect the plant this week and that an IAEA team was en route to the facility, which has become the focus of international concern with both Ukraine and Russia accusing each other of imperilling its safety.
The facility, Europe’s largest, is manned by Ukrainian staff and connected to Ukraine’s power grid. Russian forces took control of it in early March as part of what Moscow calls its ”special military operation” in Ukraine.
Both Russia and Ukraine have denied shelling the Zaporizhzhia plant in recent weeks, while each accusing the other of doing so.
”Pressure on the Ukrainian side to stop shelling can reduce military tension,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a conference call with reporters when asked what Moscow would like to see done to de-escalate the situation at the power station.
”All countries are obliged to put pressure on Ukraine so that it stops exposing the European continent to danger,” he added.
Peskov said Moscow welcomed the upcoming mission and was ready to cooperate with the IAEA.
However, he said Russia was not talking about the possibility of creating a demilitarised zone at the plant – something the United States has urged it to do.