Commentary of the Russian delegation with regard to the statement by the US Secretary of State, Mr.A.Blinken, at the 10th NPT Review Conference
In his statement at the 10th Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), US Secretary of State A.Blinken accused Russian forces of using the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant as a military base.
We strongly reject such allegations. We repeatedly stated that actions of our Armed Forces in no way undermine Ukraine’s nuclear security or impede routine operation of the NPP.
Zaporozhye NPP which is located in the zone of the Russian special military operation was taken under guard with the sole purpose – prevent Ukrainian nationalist formations and foreign mercenaries from making use of the current situation in Ukraine in order to carry out a nuclear provocation with most unpredictable consequences.
There are no armed formations at the Zaporozhye NPP, except for a limited number of military servicemen, that is required to ensure safety and security at the power plant. Over the recent months, Ukrainian armed formations held a series of provocations that used UAVs (i.a. those delivered by NATO states) and aimed at sabotaging the normal operation of the NPP, frightening its personnel, undermining security of the power plant, and ultimately, creating a threat of a nuclear disaster. We specifically raised this issue at a Security Council meeting on 29 July 2022. When taking such steps, Kiev has full support of the United States and other Western states.
In his address, Secretary Blinken also mentioned the statement that President of the United States J.Biden made earlier today ahead of the opening of the Review Conference. In particular, the Secretary of State cited President Biden’s words regarding readiness of the US Administration to negotiate a new arms control framework to replace New START when it expires in 2026. The US President added that negotiation required a willing partner (implying Russia) “operating in good faith”. We truly wonder if the US side is indeed ready to negotiate or if it is mere “lofty rhetoric”. It was the United States that unilaterally withdrew from the dialogue on strategic stability with Russia citing the developments around Ukraine as a pretext. The US did this even though the goal of that dialogue was to lay down the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures, i.a. with a view to making new relevant agreements. So it is high time Washington made up its mind, stopped rushing around, and told us frankly what it is that they want – escalate the situation in the area of international security or embark on equal negotiations.