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Zelensky calls on Nato to protect Ukrainian nuclear plants from Russian ‘sabotage’


krainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Nato members to guarantee the protection of Ukraine’s nuclear plants from “Russian sabotage” following shelling at the weekend.

The Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia plant was rocked by bombing with Russia and Ukraine blaming each other.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, said such attacks risked a major disaster.

Zelensky in a video address to Nato’s Parliamentary Assembly in Madrid on Monday, said: “All our nations are interested in not having any dangerous incidents at our nuclear facilities,” Zelenskiy said in a video address to Nato’s Parliamentary Assembly in Madrid. We all need guaranteed protection from Russian sabotage at nuclear facilities.”

The plant is located in Russian-held territory near the front line.

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More than a dozen blasts shook Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant on Saturday evening and Sunday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said.

IAEA head Rafael Grossi said news of the blasts was extremely disturbing.

“Explosions occurred at the site of this major nuclear power plant, which is completely unacceptable. Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately. As I have said many times before, you’re playing with fire!” he said in a statement.

Whoever fired on the plant was taking “huge risks and gambling with many people’s lives”, he said. “We are talking metres, not kilometres.

“We were fortunate a potentially serious nuclear incident did not happen. Next time, we may not be so lucky,” Grossi said, describing the situation as a “close call”.

The IAEA team added that there had been damage to some buildings, systems and equipment, but none of them critical for nuclear safety and security so far.

Russia earlier claimed that the shelling of Zaporizhzhia could unleash a grave nuclear accident once again laying the blame with Ukraine.

Meanwhile Zelensky also called for new EU sanctions against Moscow over what he said was its “policy of genocide” as Russian forces bomb crucial civil infrastructure. Russia denies deliberately targeting civilians in Ukraine but acknowledges a campaign of strikes against electric power and other infrastructure.

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