As Ukraine on Wednesday accused Russia of ex-ploiting its position in a nuclear power plant it had seized to target a nearby town in rocket attacks that killed at least 13 people, foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) nations called on Russia to immediately hand back full control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant to Ukraine. China has meanwhile called the United States the “main instigator” of the Ukraine crisis. The town Marhanets that Ukraine claims was targeted is the one that Russia has alleged Ukrainian forces have used in the past to shell the Russian forces, holed up at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant that they took over in March. There was no immediate comment from Russia on the Ukrainian allegations of a rocket attack on Marhanets and Reuters could not independently verify the allegations.
Putting their weight behind the Ukraine’s claim, the foreign ministers of G7 nations said in a state-ment released in Germany demanded “Russia immediately hand back full control to its rightful sovereign owner, Ukraine, of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as well as of all nuclear facilities within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders to ensure their safe and secure operations.”
Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has urged both sides to exercise restraint, warning of the “very real risk of a nuclear disaster.—AFP