Putin agreed to IAEA mission to Ukraine nuclear plant, Macron's office says
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday agreed to allow a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspect the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine during a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, according to readout of the call released by Macron's office.
Why it matters: Russia has faced pressure from dozens of countries, the United Nations and other international organizations to cease military activity at the plant and withdraw its troops and military equipment.
- The facility, which has been occupied by the Russian military since March, is Europe's largest nuclear power plant.
- Ukraine and Russia have recently accused each other of shelling areas near the facility.
- Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director general of the IAEA, condemned the military activity near the plant earlier this month.
What they're saying: "President Macron once again emphasized his concern over the risks that the situation at the Zaporizhzhia plant poses to nuclear safety and security, and expressed his support for sending a mission of IAEA experts to the site as quickly as possible, under conditions approved by Ukraine and the UN," the Elysée said.
- "The Russian President indicated his agreement to the deployment of this mission and the terms that were discussed," it added.
- It said Putin and Macron will discuss the deployment of the inspection team "again in the next few days."
The other side: The Kremlin also said Putin supported the inspection team in its readout of the call, according to Reuters.
The big picture: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday called on the UN to "ensure the security" of the plant.
- Zelensky said earlier this week that Ukrainian diplomats and nuclear scientists were working with the IAEA to organize and send an inspection team.
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