Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron called for independent inspections at the Moscow-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the Kremlin said in a statement Friday. Putin “stressed that the systematic shelling by the Ukrainian military of the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant creates the danger of a large-scale catastrophe that could lead to radiation contamination of vast territories”. According to the Kremlin, both leaders called for experts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the plant “as soon as possible” and “assess the real situation on the ground”. “The Russian side confirmed its readiness to provide the Agency inspectors with the necessary assistance,” the statement said. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was seized by Russian troops in March and recent fighting around it has raised the spectre of a nuclear incident comparable to Chernobyl. Both Kyiv and Moscow have this week accused each other of preparing “provocations” at the facility.