UN Secretary General António Guterres urged stop all hostilities near the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant and provide the IAEA mission with “immediate, safe and unhindered” access to the plant. It is located on the territory of Ukraine occupied by Russian troops. Russia considers it justified that IAEA representatives come to the Zaporozhye NPP as soon as possible, declared Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN Vasily Nebenzya.
The UN Secretary General also called for the withdrawal of any military personnel and equipment from the territory of the nuclear power plant.
“We must clearly understand that any potential damage to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant or any other nuclear facilities in Ukraine or anywhere else could lead to catastrophic consequences not only for the immediate vicinity, but also for the region and beyond. This is completely unacceptable,” Guterres said.
Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya at a meeting of the UN Security Council dedicated to the shelling of nuclear power plants, expressed the hope that the visit of IAEA experts to the plant will take place soon.
“For our part, we are ready to provide the maximum possible assistance in resolving all organizational issues. We consider it justified that IAEA representatives arrive at the ZNPP as soon as possible, perhaps even before the end of August,” Nebenzya said.
Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN Serhiy Kislitsa welcomed the readiness of the Russian Federation to assist the IAEA mission, but noted that in order to carry it out, Russia must stop shelling Nikopol and Marganets, cities on the other side of the Dnieper from Energodar, writes “Public”.
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi also spoke at the UN Security Council meeting. According to him, there is no immediate threat to nuclear safety at the nuclear power plant, but this situation can change at any moment. He added that he was ready to personally lead the mission to the Zaporozhye NPP.
Earlier, the US State Department supported the idea of creating a demilitarized zone around the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in order to protect the inhabitants of the region. At the same time, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Volodymyr Gavrilov, in the BBC Newshour program, expressed doubt that Russia would agree to this. “Russia is using the nuclear power plant as a front, threatening us and the international community,” Gavrilov said.
The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant has been shelled for the past few days – Russia and Ukraine blame each other for this. On August 11, Ukrainian Energoatom told about the next shelling of the station: it is alleged that the fire station was attacked, the pumping station for domestic wastewater was damaged. In addition, five rockets exploded in the area of the station’s commandant’s office – next to the welding site and the storage of radioactive sources. Energoatom accuses the Russian military of shelling.
The head of the Russian-controlled military-civilian administration of the Zaporozhye region, Yevhen Balitsky, also declared about the shelling of the ZNPP, blaming the Ukrainian military for this. According to him, at least “three arrivals” were recorded in the area of the storage of radioactive isotopes, the high-voltage line of the Kakhovskaya substation was damaged. At the same time, he noted that “at present, no contamination is recorded at the station, the radioactive background is normal.”