Ukraine war: Russia rejects call to demilitarise Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant area

Russia has rejected appeals for a complete demilitarisation of the area around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southern Ukraine.

The move would make the plant more vulnerable, a Russian official said.

The calls come amid growing concern over safety at the site – Europe’s largest nuclear plant – as both sides accuse each other of shelling the area.

Ukrainian workers operate the plant, which has been under Russian control since March.

It was one of the first sites seized by Russian troops following the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

UN Secretary General António Guterres sounded the alarm after meeting Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Lviv on Thursday.

“Any potential damage to Zaporizhzhia is suicide,” Mr Guterres warned.

The Ukrainian president urged the UN to ensure demilitarisation of the nuclear plant – Europe’s biggest. Mr Guterres added that “the facility must not be used as part of any military operation”.

Mr Erdogan…

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