Putin: Kyiv risking catastrophe
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, in his first public remarks about the battles raging in the vicinity of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, accused the Ukrainian military on Friday of risking a “largescale catastrophe” by shelling the plant.
The remarks, paraphrased by the Kremlin presidential website, came during a telephone call initiated by President Emmanuel Macron of France.
The two Presidents agreed to work towards organising a visit by a delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, to the facility, the Kremlin said.
Tensions ratcheted up around the plant over the summer, with both sides accusing each other of risking a nuclear disaster by targeting the facility.
Ukraine has described Russia as using the nuclear powerplant — the largest in Europe— for blackmail, risking a calamity by stationing troops at the power plant who shell Ukrainian positions across the Dnipro river.
Putin blamed Ukraine for the shelling at the plant, saying it “creates the danger of a large-scale catastrophe that could lead to radiation contamination of vast territories”.
Putin and Macron also spoke about the nuclear powerplant back in March. At that time, Putin expressed concern that saboteurs might target the plant.
New York Times News Service