Negotiations initiated by the International Atomic Energy Agency to create a safety zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant are “unlikely to significantly improve the situation.”
On September 22, IAEA Director General Raphael Grossi said that the IAEA had started “productive negotiations” with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and French President Emmanuel Macron regarding the creation of a nuclear safety and protection zone at the ZNPP.
“Despite the positive intentions of external negotiators, Russian forces may use the negotiations as an opportunity to stage further provocations at the ZNPP and accuse Ukrainian troops of threatening the security of the NPP, as they have repeatedly done in the past. As ISW previously reported, Russian forces have previously used the IAEA presence at the ZNPP to to accuse Ukraine of neglecting nuclear safety and to accuse Ukrainian forces of shelling the nuclear power plant, despite the fact that they could not provide visual evidence to support their accusations,” the message reads.
ISW emphasized that the Russian authorities may try to use the negotiations with the IAEA to accuse Ukraine of nuclear irresponsibility, trying to weaken the constant support of the West.