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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the safety of nuclear facilities in Ukraine

25 July 2022 21:36

Recently, increasing concern has been caused by the tense situation around Zaporozhye NPP, which has been escalated by the Ukrainian authorities, including by spreading misinformation about the alleged negative impact of Russia's representatives at the plant on ensuring its safety.

We have repeatedly stressed that Russia has shown utmost responsibility with regard to Ukrainian nuclear facilities and done everything in its power to ensure not only an adequate level of nuclear and physical safety, but also the greatest possible transparency in this matter.

At the end of June 2022, together with the IAEA Secretariat we prepared a visit to Zaporozhye NPP of an international mission led by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, which was aimed at carrying out activities in the framework of implementing the IAEA safeguards as well as verifying compliance with safety standards at the NPP.

Extensive and complex preparatory work had been done to coordinate all details of the visit: the route of the mission, measures to ensure the delegation's safety and the involvement of high-ranking foreign specialists.

Unfortunately, the visit did not take place due to the counterproductive position of the UN Secretariat's leadership, which refused to support the IAEA Secretariat's initiative under the far-fetched pretext of insufficient security and poor timing of the event.

Disrupting the visit played into the hands of the Kiev regime and its Western sponsors, who were not satisfied that the Director General, agency experts and international representatives included in the mission would have an opportunity to see the real situation at the Zaporozhye NPP and make sure it was functioning properly.

It was after the disruption of the visit that Kiev's armed provocations against the NPP increased manifold: drone strikes were carried out against the territory of the plant, as well as actions aimed at intimidating its personnel.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly reported on these incidents, distributing information circulars in the IAEA. In fact, by its actions Ukraine blatantly violated all seven principles of nuclear safety, formulated by the IAEA Director General, ignored the resolutions of the IAEA General Conferences of 1985 and 1990, which state that any armed attack or threat to attack nuclear facilities used for peaceful purposes violates the principles of the UN Charter, international law and the IAEA Charter.

We warn the Zelensky regime against continuing provocations against Europe's biggest nuclear power plant, which could lead to a nuclear accident whose grave consequences would affect more than just Ukraine. We call on the international community to be vigilant on this issue and condemn the actions of the Kiev authorities.

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