Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Mr. Igor Vishnevetskii, Deputy Head of the Russian Delegation in Exercise of the Right of Reply at the 10th NPT Review Conference on the current situation at the Zaporozhye NPP (Main Committee II)

Madam Chairman,

With regard to another allegation against Russia, we would like to state the following. At the beginning of March, Russian troops entered the territory of the Zaporozhye NPP (ZNPP), as the plant happened to be in the territory under our control. It could not be left without an armed guard. Otherwise, there would be a threat of access to the site by non-state actors and the risk of leakage of radioactive materials. Non-proliferation assurances and normal functioning of the plant certainly had to be provided.

We have already said it before and we will say it again: Russia cooperates closely with the IAEA and is preparing a visit to the ZNPP together with the agency. The responsibility for the fact that this trip has not yet taken place lies solely with Kiev and those who support it. Therefore, we reject the cunning appeals to Russia to allow IAEA inspectors to enter the plant as untenable. These must be addressed not to us, but to the other parties on whom it depends.

There has been disturbing news in recent days. We have already informed the Conference that on 5 August the Ukrainian armed forces shelled the Zaporozhye NPP industrial site with large-caliber artillery. The shells fell in the area of the general plant facilities. A high-voltage power line was damaged. For this reason, it was decided to reduce the capacity of ZNPP units 5 and 6.

On 6 and 7 August, the Ukrainian Armed Forces shelled the ZNPP again. The territory of the plant was hit by shells of the Uragan multiple rocket launcher and again by large-caliber artillery. There was a dry storage facility for spent nuclear fuel near the impact zone.

Irresponsible actions of the Kiev regime could lead to a large-scale disaster at the ZNPP, with consequences not only for Ukraine but also for neighboring European countries. This must be stopped immediately. Russia has already called on international organizations, the UN and the IAEA to take the necessary steps, using their authority, to curb the insane actions of the Ukrainian authorities.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi made a statement about this, expressing his deep concern about what is now happening around the ZNPP. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also spoke out in this regard, calling what is happening a suicide. But this is not enough. There must be tough demands to the Kiev authorities, directly to president Vladimir Zelensky, to stop attacking the largest operating nuclear facility in Europe.

We have photos and videos showing the consequences of these attacks on the ZNPP. Russia is ready to share them with all interested members of the international community and international organizations that can influence Ukraine and compel its leadership to stop, in fact, terrorist acts against the ZNPP.

The cynicism of Kiev's statements, including those made by President Zelensky, that Russian troops allegedly hit the ZNPP, is striking. It seems that the common sense of the current Ukrainian leaders has completely gone. They are trying to convince that the Russian military is shelling itself because they are the ones guarding the plant right now. Furthermore, Kiev propagandists also claim that representatives of the Russian state corporation Rosatom are allegedly coordinating these shillings in order to cut off the ZNPP from the Ukrainian energy system.

These monstrous lies are eagerly picked up by the sponsors of the Kiev regime. In particular, as Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has stated, the EU condemns Russia's military activity around the ZNPP, since it is allegedly another example of disregard for international norms. We hear such allegations from certain European states, namely – Poland, Germany, Sweden and others. The authorities of the Western countries continue to endanger their own citizens for the sake of endorsing the Ukrainian provocations.

The international community must speak in one voice in this situation. There can be no disagreement that weapons should never be used against large nuclear facilities such as nuclear power plants under any circumstances. This is a crime. And it must be prevented. We venture to hope that an understanding of the critical nature of the situation, and the real danger which it poses will prevail over political predilections.

Thank you.