An International Atomic Energy Agency mission left Kyiv and was on its way to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as part of an effort to evaluate and stabilize the situation there over coming days.
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(Bloomberg) — An International Atomic Energy Agency mission left Kyiv and was on its way to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as part of an effort to evaluate and stabilize the situation there over coming days.
It’s a first — and much anticipated — visit by the agency since the facility was seized by Russian troops soon after they invaded in February, a move which prompted concern about a potential atomic disaster. Since July, shelling aimed at the plant, which Russia and Ukraine blame on each other, increased to become a near-daily occurrence.
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Meanwhile, Gazprom PJSC shut down the key Nord Stream gas pipeline for three days of maintenance as planned. Fears are widespread that Moscow will find another excuse to clamp down on supplies to Europe, bringing the risk of rationing, blackouts and deep recession.
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On the Ground
Russia hit Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv again overnight, the regional governor, Oleh Synyehubov, said on Telegram. According to preliminary information, two people were injured, he said. Fierce fighting continues around Bakhmut and Avdiivka in the eastern Donetsk region, Ukraine’s General Staff reported in its morning update on Facebook. In the Zaporizhzhia region in the south east, Russian units are regrouping with the aim of resuming their offensive, it said. According to the UK’s latest intelligence update, Ukrainian forces have pushed the frontline back some distance in places, exploiting relatively thinly held Russian defenses.
(All times CET)
IAEA Mission En Route to Nuclear Plant (7:42 a.m.)
The IAEA mission plans to spend several days at the Zaporizhzhia plant, speak to the personnel and “see the real situation there and help stabilize the situation as far as it is possible,” Director General Mariano Grossi was quoted as saying by the Ukrinform news agency.
The agency intends to establish a permanent representative office at the plant, Europe’s biggest such facility, has become one of the most sensitive flashpoints of the war.
Russia Halts Gas Supply to Engie (9:35 p.m.)
Europe’s energy crisis escalated as Russian natural-gas giant Gazprom PJSC said it will halt supplies to French utility Engie SA because of a disagreement over payments.
Gazprom has notified Engie about a full cutoff of gas from Sept. 1 because the utility hasn’t paid in full for July deliveries, the Russian gas producer said in a statement. Earlier, Gazprom said it would reduce gas supplies starting Tuesday. It also plans to shut the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany for three days of maintenance beginning Wednesday.