IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi recently reported that the situation at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine – the largest in Europe – “remains extremely fragile and dangerous.” Military operations continue in the region “and may well increase very considerably in the near future,” he warned.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield noted that Russia continues to “demonstrate its flagrant disregard” for the safe operation of the Zaporizhzhia power plant:
“Since March of last year, when Russia illegally seized the Zaporizhzhya plant, the international community has held its breath each time the facility has been hit by shells, each time it has lost external power, each time Russian forces have detained essential staff . . . To make matters worse, recent news reports indicate that Moscow has disconnected Zaporizhzhya’s vital radiation monitoring sensors, which means the plant’s data is now being sent to the Russian nuclear regulator.”
“Russia’s reckless actions stand in stark contrast to Ukraine’s responsible behavior,” declared Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:
“Throughout this conflict, Director-General Grossi has made clear that Ukraine has fully cooperated in implementing safeguards at all its nuclear facilities and that the IAEA has not found any indication of a proliferation concern in Ukraine.”
“There is no doubt that Russia’s actions are an attack on the safety and security of the region and the world. And we must stand together, and demand President Putin end this madness,” declared Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:
“If Russia wants to show that it is serious about reducing nuclear risk at Zaporizhzhya, it can take steps to remove its weapons and civil and military personnel from the plant, maintain an uninterrupted power supply to the plant from the territory under Ukraine’s control, provide a humanitarian corridor to rotate Ukrainian personnel at the plant, to re-connect the plant’s radiation monitoring systems, and return full control of the plant to the competent Ukrainian authorities.”
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield also expressed deep concern over Russia’s stated intent to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus.
It is entirely within Moscow’s control to avert a nuclear catastrophe and to end its war of aggression against Ukraine. The United States will continue to stand with the Ukrainian people.