Russia's UN Envoy Blasts Claims That Russian Military Attacked Zaporozhskaya NPP in Ukraine as Lie
A fire erupted outside the Zaporozhskaya Nuclear Power Plant on Friday, with Russian MoD spokesman Igor Konashenkov saying that it was the result of actions by Ukrainian saboteurs who had attacked Russian troops there. After Russian forces fired back, the saboteurs fled and set the building on fire when leaving.
Claims that Russian troops attacked the Zaporozhskaya Nuclear Power Plant are false, Russia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzia said on Friday.
"This is all part of an unprecedented campaign of lies and disinformation against Russia", Nebenzia told a UN Security Council meeting. "You are trying to present the case in such a way that the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant was allegedly shelled by the Russian military and a fire broke out there. These statements are not true".
According to the envoy, Russian forces are not interfering with the work of the nuclear power plant, and their goal is to provide its security.
"The goal is precisely to prevent Ukrainian nationalist or other terrorist groups from using the current situation to organise a nuclear provocation, to ensure the safety of the station, and also to prevent interruptions in the supply of electricity to the population of Ukraine and European consumers", the Russian envoy explained.
Nebenzia stressed that there is no threat to the NPP, citing the estimation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): earlier in the day, it confirmed that the security and safety systems at the Zaporozhskaya plant were not compromised.
"We are the most interested in maintaining nuclear and general security in Ukraine, physical and nuclear security, to be properly maintained and ensured in Ukraine," Nebenzia underlined.
The Russian envoy also said that the UN Security Council's emergency meeting on the power plant fire is another attempt by Kiev and its supporters in the West "to kindle artificial hysteria" around the events in Ukraine.
The US Embassy in Ukraine decried the incident, tweeting that "it is a war crime to attack a nuclear power plant". However, reports emerged later that the US State Department urged all European embassies to not retweet the message or delete it in case it was already done.
On Friday night, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence, "the Kiev regime" attempted to carry out a provocation at the Zaporozhskaya NPP in order to accuse Russia of creating a source of radioactive contamination. The ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the fire at the NPP occurred after a group of Russian National Guard officers was attacked by "Ukrainian saboteurs" who "opened fire from the building of the station's training centre". When the Russian troops fired back and forced the "saboteurs" to leave, the latter set the building on fire, according to Konashenkov.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|