31 Aug 2022 12:45

IAEA mission now in line at crossing point in Kyiv-controlled territory - Zaporizhzhya authorities

MOSCOW. Aug 31 (Interfax) - The delegation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is currently in line at a crossing point in Kyiv-controlled territory, head of the Zaporizhzhya region's interim administration Yevgeny Balitsky said.

"Our balance today is roughly as follows: 200-250 vehicles are exiting the Zaporizhzhya region's territory that is under our control, and approximately 1,000-1,500 are entering our side, returning to peaceful territory. So, this convoy is somewhere in this line on that side of Zaporizhzhya," Balitsky told the Rossiya-24 (VGTRK) television channel on Wednesday.

According to Balitsky, the IAEA mission asked the authorities of the Zaporizhzhya region to help expedite its passage through the crossing point in Russian-controlled territory.

"In response to the proposal to speed up this process, I said that I am not going to do so. Let them wait in line. [...] Let them wait in line and talk to people. People will tell them everything, will tell them the truth. We have nothing to hide," he said.

"The Ukrainian side is currently responsible for their passage to our territory, and when they duly pass through the crossing point, we will then be responsible for their security and will take them to the facility," he said.

Balitsky said earlier that the program of the IAEA mission's visit to the Zaporizhzhya NPP in Enerhodar in the Russian-controlled part of the Zaporizhzhya region covers one day.

"The program of the visit covers one day. They are supposed to look at the plant's operation in one day. The elements that they say in the process can be inspected. At this point [the stated goal of the mission] is to 'familiarize itself with the work of the plant.' For us this is a vague concept for us," Balitsky said.

It is planned that the delegation will enter the territory controlled by the Russian Armed Forces via Vasylivka not far from the contact line and will head to Enerhodar immediately, he said.

"They should already depart by the evening [on the same day], during the daytime," Balitsky said.

Balitsky believes that the IAEA experts will examine the two functioning reactors, the waste storage facility, and the cooling system. The aftermath of Ukraine's attacks will also be shown to them.

The authorities of the Zaporizhzhya region would also show the IAEA mission Enerhodar's residential areas shelled by Ukraine, but doubt it will be appropriately assessed.

"We will show everything that needs to be shown. We will do everything that depends on us. And we will try so that the world finds out the truth of who is the nuclear terrorist through this agency. But we don't have big hopes," Balitsky said.