UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that electricity generated at the Russian-held nuclear power plant in Ukraine's southern region of Zaporizhzhia belonged to Ukraine and demanded that the principle be fully respected.
Guterres, asked about possible Russian plans to divert power to the Russian power grid, told reporters in Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odesa that the plant should be demilitarised, a move that he said would resolve the problem, reports Reuters.
"Obviously the electricity from Zaporizhzhia is Ukrainian electricity and it's necessary especially during the winter for the Ukrainian people. And this principle must be fully respected."
Ukraine is bracing for its most difficult winter in more than 30 years of independence and preparing for a possible energy shortage that would be exacerbated by the nuclear plant being disconnected.
International aid officials have voiced concern that such a move by Russia could trigger more hardship in the eastern part of Ukraine, particularly, and prompt more people to flee abroad.
Russia has itself accused Ukraine of plotting a "provocation" at the sprawling nuclear plant.