Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Ukraine (Zaporizhzhia)
Statement06 September 2022
Thank you, Mr President, and I would like to thank the Secretary General and Director General Grossi for their briefings.
We greatly welcome the IAEA’s support and assistance mission to Zaporizhzia, and I would like to commend both the IAEA and the UN for the manner in which the mission has been conducted.
We welcome the Director General’s report and its recommendations. And we also welcome the Director General’s intention to maintain an ongoing IAEA presence at the plant. The IAEA has a key role in assisting Ukraine to uphold nuclear safety and security in that country, in the face of Russia’s occupation of such critical Ukrainian infrastructure.
We are deeply concerned by the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, including the ongoing military activity and shelling around the plant. We strongly support the Secretary General’s call for the demilitarisation of the area around the plant.
The fact that the plant again lost all connection to the main Ukrainian grid raises serious concerns. We urgently call on Russia to stop its efforts to disconnect the plant, which creates a significant risk of a catastrophic radiological incident at the plant.
The Director General has again clearly set out the importance of the seven pillars of nuclear safety and security, and how these are being flouted at Zaporizhzhia, due to Russia’s actions. We call on Russia, and indeed all states, to fully commit themselves to these Seven Pillars, for all nuclear facilities and materials, including in situations of armed conflict.
President, once again we have to be perfectly clear, the issues at Zaporizhzhia arise solely from the unjust and unprovoked war waged by Russia against Ukraine. The reckless actions of the Russian military forces, and their forcible seizure of the nuclear plant, have already demonstrated their utter disregard for nuclear safety and security.
Once again, let me reiterate, if Russia is serious about safety at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, it must end its illegal occupation of the site, withdraw its troops and munitions.
This is essential so that the Ukrainian authorities, with the IAEA, can uphold their responsibilities for safety and security at the site. Russia must end this war and withdraw from the full territory of Ukraine, and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbours.