MELITOPOL (Sputnik) - The next rotation of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) is scheduled for early April, but Kiev may disrupt the change of specialists, Renat Karchaa, a spokesman for Rosenergoatom, a subsidiary of Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, told Sputnik.
"Usually the rotation period is a month, plus or minus a few days. If you follow this schedule, then the rotation should occur in early April. We never had a problem with rotation before. There were problems with the last rotation. Accordingly, it is very difficult to say for sure whether there will be a rotation on time or they [Ukrainians] will again try to disrupt the shift," Karchaa said.
The spokesman assessed the possibility of provocations by the Ukrainian forces as "very high."
"[Kiev] may stage a forceful action via the participation of sabotage and reconnaissance groups or in some other way, we are waiting for this at any time. I estimate the degree of probability of provocations as very high," Karchaa added.
On Thursday, Vladimir Rogov, a senior official of the Zaporizhzhia regional administration, told Sputnik that Ukraine had cut off the last power transmission line supporting the ZNPP, and the plant had now switched to diesel generators. Two out of the plant's six units initiated so-called cold shutdowns.
Located on the left bank of the Dnepr River, the ZNPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe by number of units and output. It went under the control of Russian forces in early March 2022 and has since been repeatedly shelled by Ukrainian troops, raising concerns over a possible nuclear accident.