President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accuses Russia of “nuclear blackmail”, a day after Moscow and Kyiv sparred over control of the plant. His comments come as the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog is expected to hold talks in Kyiv on establishing a security zone around the Russian-occupied plant.
He accused Russia of “nuclear blackmail” over its move to take full control of the Zaporizhzhia power plant in southeastern Ukraine.
“[The] capturing of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant [stands] for nuclear blackmail and for exerting pressure on the world and on Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said in a video address to the Sydney-based Lowy think-tank via a translator.
“You’re not using the weapons, but you can still be blackmailing by not having the nuclear power plant working for the people – the people are not receiving the electricity,” he added.
Russia captured the plant in March, shortly after invading Ukraine, and President Vladimir Putin ordered his government on Wednesday to take full control over its operations. The plant is Europe’s largest, and Ukrainian staff have continued to operate it until now despite Russian forces’ occupation of the site.
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