Putin ‘agrees’ to send IAEA inspection team to Ukraine nuclear plant

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron have agreed to send a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, according to the French presidential office.

In a phone conversation between the two leaders on Friday, Putin agreed that the mission should pass through Ukraine and not Russia, which is what Kyiv and its Western partners want. 

Both leaders also agreed to have discussions before the deployment of an inspection mission.

Macron’s call to his Russian counterpart was justified due to the serious safety risk to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which is subject to combat activity, an official at the French presidency told journalists in a briefing.

Macron, who last called Putin in May, has been strongly criticised in the past for keeping up diplomatic talks with the Russian leader despite his decision to invade Ukraine.