U.S. President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on August 21 urged military restraint around the Moscow-occupied Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant in Ukraine while reiterating their support for Kyiv in the war.
In a phone call, the four leaders also called for a “quick visit” to the nuclear site by inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the White House said.
The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant was captured by Russia in March, shortly after it invaded Ukraine on February 24. The plant — Europe’s largest — has repeatedly come under fire in recent weeks, sparking fears of a nuclear disaster. Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of shelling the plant.
“The leaders affirmed their continued support for Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself against Russian aggression. They also discussed the situation at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, including the need to avoid military operations near the plant and the importance of an IAEA visit as soon as feasible to ascertain the state of safety systems,” a statement released by the White House said.
The statement added that the four leaders also discussed “ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, the need to strengthen support for partners in the Middle East region, and joint efforts to deter and constrain Iran’s destabilizing regional activities.”
The conversation came days after the European Union submitted a “final” draft text aimed at salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal that former U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018. Tehran sent its response to the EU text last week. The United States said that it will share its view on the Iranian response with the EU privately.