UN chief calls for access to Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

UN chief calls for access to Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for international inspectors to be allowed access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after Ukraine and Russia accused each other of the shelling of Europe's largest nuclear plant over the weekend.

Guterres told a news conference in Japan that any attack to a nuclear plant is a suicide, as he attended the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony on Saturday to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the world's first atomic bombing.

Ukraine said renewed Russian shelling had damaged three radiation sensors and hurt a worker at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, the second hit on the site in a row in a row.

Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of waging nuclear terror that warranted more international sanctions, this time on Moscow's nuclear sector.

There is no such nation in the world that could feel safe when a terrorist state fires a nuclear plant, Zelenskyy said in a televised address on Sunday.

Russian forces captured the plant in early March, but it is still run by Ukrainian technicians.

The Russian-installed authority of the area said Ukrainian forces hit the site with a multiple rocket launcher, damaging administrative buildings and an area near a storage facility. The Russian Embassy in Washington released a statement about the damage.

Ukrainian nationalists launched an artillery strike on the territory of the specified object on August 5. Two high-voltage power lines and a water pipeline were damaged as a result of the shelling.

Only thanks to the effective and timely actions of the Russian military in covering the nuclear power facility, its critical infrastructure was not affected, the embassy said.

Reuters couldn't verify either side's version.

The events on the Zaporizhzhia site - where Kyiv claimed that Russia hit a power line on Friday - have alarmed the world.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, needed access to the plant, according to Guterres.

Guterres said that they fully support the IAEA in their efforts to create the conditions of stabilisation of the plant.

A deal to unblock Ukraine's food exports and ease global shortages slowed as another four ships sailed out of Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Saturday, while the first cargo vessel since Russia's Feb 24 invasion, according to IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi.

The four outgoing ships had nearly 170,000 tons of corn and other food. They were sailing under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey to try to help lessen the soaring global food prices that have resulted from the war.

Russia and Ukraine accounted for nearly a third of the global wheat exports before Russia's invasion, which Russian President Vladimir Putin called a special military operation. The disruption has threatened famine in some parts of the world.