IAEA says deal over Ukrainian nuke plant "almost there"


FILE PHOTO: A view shows the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the course of Russia-Ukraine conflict outside the city of Enerhodar in the Zaporizhzhia region, Russian-controlled Ukraine, November 24, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - A deal aimed at safeguarding Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is close at hand, the head of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency said on Friday.

Europe's largest power plant, which was seized by Russia shortly after its invasion of Ukraine, has since come under repeated shelling, drawing condemnation from the IAEA, which has called for a safety zone to be created around the site.

"We are almost there. Believe me. .. Now we have a proposal on the table which simply put is aiming to stop the folly of bombing the largest nuclear power plant in Europe," IAEA chief Rafael Grossi told a conference in Rome.

"This is ongoing. I cannot reveal everything, but I am engaged," he said.

Earlier on Friday, Russia's RIA news agency said Moscow had outlined its position on the creation of a safety zone around the plant and was awaiting a response, citing the head of the state-run nuclear energy agency Rosatom.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; editing by Diane Craft)

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