Russian President Vladimir Putin will allow a team of independent inspectors to travel to the Moscow-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant via Ukraine, the French presidency said on Friday.
The apparent resolution of a dispute over whether inspectors travel to the plant via Ukraine or Russia came as a senior US defence official said Ukraine’s forces had brought the Russian advance to a halt.
“You are seeing a complete and total lack of progress by the Russians on the battlefield,” the official said, speaking to reporters on grounds of anonymity.
According to French President Emmanuel Macron’s office, Mr Putin had “reconsidered the demand” that the International Atomic Energy Agency travel through Russia to the site, after the Russian leader himself warned fighting there could bring about a “catastrophe”.
It specified that Mr Putin had dropped his demand that the IAEA team travel to the site via Russia, saying it could arrive via Ukraine.
The UN nuclear watchdog’s chief, Rafael Grossi, “welcomed recent statements indicating that both Ukraine and Russia supported the IAEA’s aim to send a mission to” the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.
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