Negotiations on creating a safety zone around Ukraine's Russia-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant are tough, and Kyiv appears to be just stalling for time, RIA Novosti cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Monday.

"While consultations with the IAEA are ongoing, it would not be right to make public information about the possible parameters of the ZNPP protection zone. The negotiation process is not progressing easily," Ryabkov said in an interview with the agency.

"We handed over our proposals to Rafael Grossi, the agency's director general. As far as we know, Kyiv has not yet given a clear answer to the initiative of the IAEA head. Apparently, it's just stalling." (Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Tom Hogue)