Rafael Grossi, the head of the UN nuclear inspector, is scheduled to arrive in Moscow on Thursday for discussions about nuclear safety in Ukraine amid ongoing violence, according to Russia’s deputy foreign minister.
Atomic installations have been a major worry during the fight, which has lasted almost a year, with strikes near many facilities sparking worries of a nuclear accident.
Grossi traveled to Ukraine last month to dispatch IAEA teams to a number of nuclear facilities, expanding on its work at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia reactor close to the front lines.
“The IAEA Director General is flying to Moscow today,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
“His trip is important. We have been discussing parameters for a nuclear and security protection zone for a long time,” he added.
The talks are “not easy,” Ryabkov said, according to RIA Novosti.
“We understand that the agency and its leadership are under external pressure,” he added.
The largest nuclear plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia facility, was shelled, and Kiev and Moscow have constantly laid blame on the other.
Russia claims to have annexed the nearby Zaporizhzhia region and has controlled the plant since March of last year.