NEW YORK, Aug 25 — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the international community Wednesday that the world depends on his country’s independence.

Zelenskyy addressed the United Nations (UN) Security Council as Ukraine marked its 31st Independence Day from the Soviet Union and six months in defending itself from a war launched by Russia, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

But Russia opposed Zelenskyy’s talk to the 15-member chamber via video conference and insisted he participate in person and asked for a procedural vote.

The Russian proposal was rejected with 13 members voting in favour of Zelenskyy’s participation in the meeting while Russia voted against it.

“Now, what is happening right now with Russia has put the world on the brink of a radiation catastrophe,” said Zelenskyy. “It is a fact that the Russian military has turned the territory of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, into a war zone.”

Zelenskyy urged The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to have a permanent presence of experts at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant until Ukraine regains control of the site.

Russia took control of the facility on March 4, two weeks after beginning its offensive against Ukraine.

Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has been shelled several times, raising concerns about a nuclear disaster.

Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of attacks at the nuclear facility.

The UN said Tuesday that preparations were underway to send a team from the UN’s nuclear watchdog to the plant for inspection, pending approval and security assurances from both parties.


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