"Russian withdrawal from Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant or transferring control over it to some 'third party' is out of the question," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Dec. 5.
The International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi said on Dec. 2 that he hoped to reach an agreement with Russia and Ukraine on protecting the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, currently occupied by Moscow troops, by the end of this year.
"There is a concrete proposal on securing Zaporizhzhia, and important progress has been made," he said.
"The two sides now agree on some basic principles. The first is that of protection: it means accepting that you don't shoot 'on' the plant and 'from' the plant. The second is the recognition that the IAEA is the only possible way forward," Grossi said, as quoted by CNN.
Zakharova said, "claiming that the parties are close to the agreement is untimely."
In late November, Petro Kotin, the head of Ukraine's state nuclear energy operator Energoatom, said that the company saw signs Russia was preparing to leave the plant. On the following day, The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the information.
Russian troops have been in control of the plant since early March and have used it as a military base and attacks on Ukraine, according to multiple reports by Ukrainian authorities and local officials.