Sept 2 (Reuters) – Ukraine and Russia traded accusations over each others’ actions around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on Friday as a team of inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog tried to check the safety of the facility and avert a potential disaster.
* Ukraine’s state nuclear company, Energoatom, said on Friday that it would be “difficult” for the IAEA to make an impartial assessment of the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant due to Russian interference.
* Energoatom also said the mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which arrived at the power station on Thursday, had not been allowed to enter the plant’s crisis centre, where Ukraine says Russia has stationed troops.
* Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday Ukraine’s shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was raising the risk of a nuclear catastrophe in Europe.
* A Reuters reporter near the plant in Russian-controlled Enerhodar on the Dnipro river said a residential building was struck by shelling. Soldiers ran about and helicopters flew overhead. It was not possible to establish who had fired.
* Yevgeny Balitsky, Russian-installed Zaporizhzhia oblast governor, said at least three people had been killed and five wounded in Ukrainian shelling of Enerhodar.
* Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said Russia had staged the incident in Enerhodar to blame Ukraine.
* Europe could solve its energy crisis by scrapping sanctions against Russia and launching the mothballed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament said on Friday.
* The Kremlin said on Friday that Russia would stop selling oil to countries that impose price caps on Russia’s energy resources – caps that Moscow said would lead to significant destabilisation of the global oil market.
* Equinor has completed its exit from Russia, the Norwegian energy group said on Friday, delivering on a promise made after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
* Operator data on requests for gas on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia to Europe suggest flows should resume from Saturday, when Gazprom GAZP.MM said maintenance work will be completed.
* Group of Seven finance ministers are expected to firm up plans on Friday to impose a price cap on Russian oil aimed at slashing revenues for Moscow’s war in Ukraine but keeping crude flowing to avoid price spikes, G7 officials said.
* Heavy fighting persists in the southern part of Ukraine including shellings in the Enerhodar district, near the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Britain’s defence ministry said on Friday.
“Unfortunately we haven’t heard the main thing from the IAEA, which is the call for Russia to demilitarise the (nuclear power) station,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video streamed to a forum in Italy.
(Compiled by Nick Macfie)