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MOSCOW, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Friday that Russia’s military presence at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine is a guarantee against what he called a “Chernobyl scenario”, referring to the 1986 nuclear catastrophe.

Yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ivan Nechaev said that a U.N. proposal to demilitarise the area around the nuclear plant was “unacceptable”.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, was occupied by Russia in March. It remains near the frontline, and has repeatedly come under fire in recent weeks, raising fears of a nuclear disaster. Both Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of shelling the facility.

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