Western leaders urge 'restraint' around Ukraine nuclear plant

Fighting around the Russian-controlled power station brings fears of a disaster worse than Chernobyl

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres held a press conference to discuss the situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. EPA
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The leaders of Britain, France, Germany and the US on Sunday urged military restraint around the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, as they vowed to maintain their backing for Kyiv in the war.

In a phone call, the four leaders also called for a “quick visit” to the nuclear site by independent inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's spokesman.

A flare-up in fighting around the Russian-controlled nuclear power station, with both sides blaming each other for attacks, has raised the spectre of a disaster worse than in Chernobyl.

On Friday, the French presidency said Russian President Vladimir Putin had agreed that IAEA inspectors could inspect the plant.

During their talks on Sunday, Mr Scholz, US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also “agreed that support for Ukraine in its defence against Russian aggression would be sustained”.

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Updated: August 21, 2022, 6:17 PM