Foreign ministers of leading countries demand that Russian troops immediately leave ZNPP

Foreign ministers of leading countries demand that Russian troops immediately leave ZNPP

Ukrinform
The ministers of Foreign Affairs of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and senior officials from the Republic of Korea, Switzerland, the United States of America, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy have issued a joint statement regarding the threats posed to the safety and security of nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful purposes in Ukraine.

The relevant document was released on the website of the European External Action Service (EEAS), an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“We recall that the heightened risks of a nuclear incident will remain dangerously high as long as Russia remains present on the site of ZNPP. The Russian Federation must immediately withdraw its troops from within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders and respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Should the Russian Federation conduct any sham referenda within occupied territories of Ukraine, we reiterate that these would have no legal and political effect, including on the status of the ZNPP,” the report states.

The ministers noted the 2009 IAEA General Conference unanimous decision GC(53)/DEC/13 entitled “Prohibition of armed attack or threat of attack against nuclear installations, during operation or under construction”, which recognised the importance attached to safety, security and physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful purposes. They also emphasized the importance of the IAEA Director General’s ”Seven Indispensable Pillars of Nuclear Safety and Security”, outlined in his statement to the IAEA Board of Governors meeting on March 2-3, 2022.

In their joint statement, the ministers mentioned the said seven principles:

- the physical integrity of the nuclear facilities, whether it is reactors, fuel ponds, or radioactive waste stores, must be maintained;

- all safety and security systems and equipment must be fully functional at all times;

- the operating staff must be able to fulfil their respective safety and security duties, and have the capacity to make decisions free of undue pressure;

- there must be secure off-site power supply from the grid for all nuclear sites;

 - there must be uninterrupted logistical supply chains and transportation to and from the sites;

- there must be effective on-site and off-site radiation monitoring systems and emergency preparedness and response measures;

- and finally, there must be reliable communications with the regulator and others.

The ministers expressed their intent to continue to support the IAEA action in helping facilitate the implementation of these principles in Ukraine while fully respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty, including through the IAEA nuclear safety and security assistance plan for Ukraine.

“We welcome the IAEA Support and Assistance Mission to Zaporizhzhya (ISAMZ) and commend the Director General and his team for their courage and determination in performing this important mission. We support efforts to maintain a continued IAEA presence at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) in order to support Ukraine, and stand ready to support the nuclear safety, security and safeguards objectives of the IAEA mission, as needed,” the statement reads.

A reminder that Russian troops seized Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) on March 4, 2022. Since then, Russian invaders have been deploying military equipment and ammunition within the industrial site of the plant and shelling the adjacent territory.

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