Kyiv, July 5: Further raising tensions in the over-year-long war, Russia and Ukraine accused each other of "plotting sabotage" at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant on Wednesday, the New York Times reported. However, the analysts have pointed out that any immediate risk of serious harm to the facility appears low.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine, citing the country's intelligence service, said that Russian troops who seized the plant in south Ukraine, in March last year, have placed "objects that look like explosives" on the roof of several of its power units, "possibly with the intent of simulating an attack and blaming it on Ukraine". EAM S Jaishankar Reaches Zanzibar To Deepen Ties With Tanzania; Receives Warm Welcome (Watch Video).

He did not elaborate and the claim could not be independently confirmed, but Ukrainian officials have been increasingly ratcheting up warnings of nuclear sabotage. Vietnam Emerging as Southeast Asia’s New Tourist Hotspot.

"The only source of danger to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is Russia and no one else," NYT quoted Zelenskyy saying in an overnight speech.

He further confirmed speaking on the telephone with French President Emmanuel Macron about his concerns.

On the other hand, Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri S Peskov has alleged that it is Ukraine that has planned to sabotage the plant and described the situation as "quite tense." He added that Russia has also taken measures to counteract the threat.

However, both Zelenskyy and Kremlin spokesperson didn't provide any evidence for their claims, NYT reported. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, has inspectors stationed on site.

In an apparent response to Zelenskyy's concerns, it said that it had so far not seen any indications of mines or explosions but had requested additional access to parts of the plant to confirm.

"With military tension and activities increasing in the region where this major nuclear power plant is located, our experts must be able to verify the facts on the ground," the agency's director general, Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a statement.

Grossi has repeatedly warned of the chances of disaster, including sounding alarms last month over an "extremely fragile" security situation, amid shelling around the plant and other security issues. The plant, the largest in Europe and the first to be occupied by foreign troops, has been the focus of global concern since early in the war.

Meanwhile, the US too is looking at the matter with great concern. Biden administration officials said last week that they did not believe a threat was imminent but that they were watching "very, very closely," NYT reported.

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