Putin decreed that Russia takes possession and control of the Ukrainian nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia, the largest in Europe

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A man armed with the Russian flag on his uniform stands guard in front of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, outside Energodar, Zaporizhia region, Ukraine, on August 4, 2022. (REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)
A man armed with the Russian flag on his uniform stands guard in front of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, outside Energodar, Zaporizhia region, Ukraine, on August 4, 2022. (REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Wednesday ordering the Russian government to take control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. of Ukraine and make it “federal property”.

“The government will ensure that the plant’s nuclear facilities…are integrated as federal property.”says the executive order.

the plant, the largest in Europe, is controlled by Russian troops but has so far been operated by Ukrainian personnel. Its proximity to the front lines of combat has heightened international fears of a nuclear disaster.

Earlier, the adviser to the general director of the Russian nuclear operator Rosenergo atomRenat Karchaa, who accompanied the mission ofl International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) during his visit to the plant, had indicated that Russia would be the owner of the entire complex.

“An operational organization has been created. This structure was established by Rosenergoatom. The Russian Federation will be the owner of the complex in everything related to the nuclear power plant”, he stated on the public television channel Rossia-24.

A Russian soldier at the plant (AP Photo/File)
A Russian soldier at the plant (AP Photo/File)

He also indicated that the operational organization was established last day 3.

The one who was general director of the plant, Ihor Muráshovwas detained for several days and later expelled to territory dominated by kyiv.

Karchaa argued that there is already a candidate for the post of general director of the nuclear power plantwhich comes from the current staff in Zaporizhzhia, operated by Ukrainian employees although controlled by Russian troops.

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“Yes, of course, but I can’t give his last name yet. This team will most likely be led by a person who is not from outside, it will be a person of flesh and blood from the station “said.

The Ukrainian state nuclear power company, Energoatomdenounced last day 1 the arrest and disappearance of the person in charge of the nuclear plant.

Murashov was finally released on Monday and “expelled” to Ukrainian-controlled territory, therefore, he will not resume his work at the plant.

Putin’s decree comes just before the Trip of the IAEA Director General, Rafael Grossi, to kyiv and Moscow to continue their consultations aimed at agreeing and implementing as soon as possible a security zone around the nuclear power plant, something that is now more than ever in doubt after Russia’s annexation of the region of Zaporizhzhia.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi (REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi (REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)

The plant has been and continues to be the subject of frequent attacks of which both sides are accused, although the UN agency pointed out that no more explosions have been recorded since last October 1.

The Argentine will travel to kyiv from Armenia, where he was on an official visit for two days.

In addition to the meetings with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrovand his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmitry Kulebawhich took place during the UN General Assembly in New York, the director I would have planned a visit to the place next weekas reported by the Agency on its Twitter account.

“We cannot afford to wait for something catastrophic to happen.. As long as the bombing continues, the risks are enormous. We must act quickly,” he stated at the time.

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(With information from AFP and EFE)

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The IAEA director will travel to Moscow and kyiv to negotiate a security zone at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

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