On 11 October IAEA director general Rafael Grossi met with Russian president Vladimir Putin as part of the IAEA’s efforts to prevent a nuclear accident during the current military conflict in Ukraine, stressing the urgent need to establish a safety and security protection zone around the Zaporizhzhya NPP.

A few days before, the DG met with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv and they will meet again there following the discussions with president Putin in St Petersburg.

In recent weeks, Mr Grossi has been engaged in intense consultations with both Ukraine and the Russian Federation to agree and implement such a protection zone as soon as possible, in view of shelling at or near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in recent weeks and months.

"The situation in the region around the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant and elsewhere has become increasingly dangerous, precarious and challenging, with frequent military attacks that can also threaten nuclear safety and security," Mr Grossi said.

“The stakes are high. We must do everything in our power to help ensure that a nuclear accident does not happen during this tragic conflict, as it could cause even more hardship and suffering in Ukraine and beyond," he said.