Kyiv - The European Union will discuss tightening sanctions against Russia today (Monday), as Moscow is accused of using the continent’s largest nuclear power plant to store weapons and launch missiles on the surrounding regions of southern Ukraine.

The situation at the captured Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is “extremely tense”, Ukraine’s atomic energy agency chief Petro Kotin said, adding that the Russians had installed missile launchers and used the facility to shell the Dnipro region.

Describing “a deluge of fire”, regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko on Saturday said Grad missiles had pounded residential areas. “Rescuers found two dead people under the ruins” in the riverside city of Nikopol, he said. With the conflict grinding on and increasingly spilling out into global energy and food crises, the EU’s foreign ministers are considering banning gold purchases from Russia, which would align with sanctions already imposed by G7 partners.

More Russian figures could also be placed on the EU’s blacklist.  “Moscow must continue to pay a high price for its aggression,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said after forwarding the proposed measures.