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Russia requests Security Council meeting over attacks on Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file photo, taken on May 1, 2022, a Russian serviceman is seen patrolling the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in Energodar, Ukraine. (By AFP)

Russia has requested an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council concerning what it called Ukraine’s continuous attacks on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is under Russian control, as both sides blame each other for repeated shelling of the site.

Russia’s Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mikhail Ulyanov warned in a tweet on Wednesday that the shelling of the nuclear plant can result in a “large-scale catastrophe” in Europe.

“Russia requested an urgent meeting of the #UN Security Council in connection with regular shelling of [Zaporizhzhia] nuclear power plant by Ukrainian armed forces,” he wrote, adding that the meeting will be held on Thursday.

Earlier, TASS reported that Russia has requested the participation of IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, who is to make a report on the issue.

Zaporizhzhia is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and among the 10 largest in the world. Russian forces seized the plant soon after Moscow launched its ongoing military offensive in the ex-Soviet country on February 24. Both Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of targeting the facility.

On Monday, Kiev called for the establishment of a “demilitarized zone” around the nuclear power station in east Ukraine. The Kremlin, for its part, accused Ukrainian forces of firing on the plant, warning of potential “catastrophic consequences” for Europe.

Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo on Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the nuclear confrontation risk is back after decades, calling on the nuclear-armed countries “to commit to the principle of non-first use.”

“Any attack to a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing. I hope that those attacks will end, and at the same time I hope that the IAEA will be able to access the plant,” Guterres said after a visit to Hiroshima over the weekend, where he gave a speech to mark the 77th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear bomb attack.

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