Meeting between French President Macron and IAEA Chief Grossi

PeopleOther ♦ Published: August 28, 2022; 21:32 ♦ (Vindobona)

French President Emmanuel Macron received the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi. The meeting between the two dignitaries focused on the threat posed by Russia's war against Ukrainian civilian nuclear facilities. Macron assured the IAEA Director General of France's support in the IAEA's upcoming mission to Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant.

French President Emmanuel Macron (r.) and the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi (l.). / Picture: © IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency / Official Photos from the Office of the President, France / Flickr Attribution (CC BY 2.0,

The mission to Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant was facilitated by French President Macron, who reiterated his support for the IAEA. Despite being occupied by Russian forces since early March, the plant is operated by Ukrainians. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to an IAEA mission in talks with President Macron, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy agreed on the parameters with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

As part of his address to the UN Security Council earlier this month, Mr. Grossi called for both sides of the conflict to cooperate to allow a mission to the Zaporizhzhya plant to take place.

With the help of diplomacy in recent weeks, the mission to Europe's largest nuclear power plant was made possible. As also reported, the head of Rosatom and Mr. Grossi met last week to negotiate conditions for a mission. The French president sought support for sending a mission of IAEA experts to the Zaporizhzhya plant as soon as possible to look into nuclear safety and security and safeguards while respecting Ukraine's full sovereignty over its territory and infrastructure.

In addition to assessing the physical damage to the facilities at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the IAEA mission will also evaluate the working conditions of the staff, as well as perform urgent safeguards activities there.

IAEA Chief Grossi expressed his concerns "about the extremely stressful and challenging working conditions under which Ukrainian management and staff are operating the plant.” Grossi said, “The serious nuclear safety and security risks facing the facility, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, underlines the need for an IAEA expert mission to go there.“

France has also been supporting the IAEA and Ukraine's nuclear security in recent months. A request for equipment for the safe and secure operation of Ukraine's nuclear facilities was answered by France, one of 12 countries in the IAEA's Response and Assistance Network (RANET). A large batch of radiation protection and monitoring equipment was delivered by the IAEA to Ukraine in July.

Macron confirmed that the Director General could count on France's support even now to ensure that the IAEA mission would have access to the site in complete security and without obstacles and could carry out its mission without hindrance.

The French President also discussed with the Director General the diplomatic efforts of France and its partners to find a negotiated solution that would allow the United States and Iran to return to full implementation of the Joint Global Action Plan, including IAEA verification and control of Iran's nuclear activities. He reiterated France's full support for the Director General and the IAEA in the impartial and independent implementation of its mandate.

Grossi met with the French foreign minister

Mr. Grossi also took the opportunity in Paris to meet with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna to discuss further efforts to ensure that nuclear materials are not diverted for peaceful purposes. "Our efforts are critical to addressing the challenges of nuclear nonproliferation," Mr. Grossi said. In this regard, French diplomat Colonna and the Director General also discussed the issue of Iranian nuclear proliferation in particular.

In addition to supporting the IAEA's efforts to monitor and verify Iran's nuclear program, France also supports its efforts to maintain a continuous state of knowledge about Tehran's nuclear activities. According to Grossi, at the last meeting of the IAEA's Board of Governors in June, the IAEA cannot confirm Iran's full and accurate declaration.

Elysee - President of France


Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France