Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Remarks to the press by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia with regard to Ukraine's attacks on the Zaporozhskaya Nuclear Power Plant

Vassily Nebenzia: In the last three days, the Armed Forces of Ukraine carried out a number of attacks against the Zaporozhskaya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).

According to the press service of the ZNPP, on 5 April attacks of Ukrainian combat drones were detected in the area of the cargo port and nitrogen-oxygen station No. 2.

On 7 April, even more grave incidents occurred.

At 11:38 local time, a kamikaze drone hit the area of the canteen on the territory of the ZNPP. As a result, 3 persons were injured – one of them heavily – and a truck unloading the food was damaged. It is worth saying that just 20 minutes before the attack this area was visited by the IAEA experts in accordance with a previously agreed plan.

Precisely half an hour later – at 12:08 local time – a strike of combat drone was detected in the area of the ZNPP cargo port. And almost three hours later, at 15:05, the Armed Forced of Ukraine directly hit with a drone a nuclear installation – the dome of the power unit No. 6.

Approximately at 15:30 local time, three IAEA experts, accompanied by the ZNPP employees, visited the sites that had been attacked around the plant. They inspected the places hit with the drones, documented the damage and the remains of munitions and delivery vehicles.

Furthermore, at 16:21 local time a kamikaze drone was suppressed over power unit No. 5. At 17:08, the Armed Forces of Ukraine struck the ZNPP training center.

As you can see from the number and intensity of attacks, as well as from the facilities that were hit, it is not about some accidental strikes. It is about deliberate and massive shelling of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe – for the first time since the previous attack against the ZNPP within its perimeter carried out by Ukrainian forces on 20 November 2022. Throughout the recent almost one and a half year, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been targeting mostly the town of Energodar, where the ZNPP employees and their families live, and the industrial zone around the plant. This time, they returned to the tactics of striking the plant itself.

Apart from directly violating the seven indispensable pillars for ensuring nuclear safety and security during an armed conflict, as well as the five principles to ensure nuclear safety and security at the ZNPP, formulated by the IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi, the events that occurred this weekend demonstrate that the Ukrainian forces just neglect the considerations of common sense, as well as health and security of their people and the people of other states. Even a possibility of a nuclear catastrophe is not a “no-go” sign for them. We are also wondering what the Western States feel about their proxies undertaking such dangerous provocations that can have grave consequences for them as well as for the entire world.

We have already seen in the media yet another claims about the Russian Federation shelling its own nuclear plant. Its absurdity does not withstand any scrutiny or common sense. The reality is that our competent authorities are doing everything possible to ensure safety of the plant, its employees and the IAEA experts located there. However, there is no single nuclear power plant in the world that is designed to withstand a full-scale armed attack.

Against this backdrop, we urge the international community to condemn these irresponsible and gravely dangerous actions of the Kiev regime. Its Western sponsors, instead of covering up its crimes and supplying it with more weapons and ammunition, should bear responsibility for the reckless actions by Ukrainian political and military authorities aimed at compromising nuclear safety and security at the global scale.

Q: Are you going to call an emergency UNSC meeting on this? As you mentioned, your people are in the plant. Do you have drone debris that you can present as evidence that it was Ukraine in fact?

A: We have photos of the damage that was inflicted. We will share the photo with you. I am sorry I did not bring it with me, but I will do it later in the day. We will definitely raise that issue in one of the forthcoming meetings on Ukraine.

Q: On Palestine. Can we ask you on the membership? Could you tell us a little bit about what happened in the meeting this morning? What do you expect for the rest of the day? Could you lay out the process to us?

A: As UNSC President just said, we will have a formal meeting at 12.00 pm referring the issue to the Admission Committee, which in fact already reviewed and scrutinized the case back in 2011. But the decision was taken. It was not opposed by Council members, although not everyone (including us) was happy about the decision, because we think the issue has already been discussed and does not need another discussion. Then another formal meeting, of the Admission Committee, will take place at 03.00 pm. We decided that we will go through the Admission Committee within a limited timeline. Besides, sponsors of potential resolution to admit Palestine as a full member of the UN can present their draft at any moment, via the Committee or not.

Q: It is going to be an open meeting?

A: Yes, that’s a formal open meeting of the Security Council, which will refer the matter to the Admission Committee.

Q: What do you mean by “limited time”?

A: That is within, say, days or 1-2 weeks. We are not planning to allow to drag the issue indefinitely as perhaps some Council members wish. In any case, the decision when to present draft resolutions belongs to the penholders.

Q: Just now the Israeli Ambassador rejected the idea of the admission of Palestine as a member state.

A: They reject the idea of a two-state solution as well. So what can we expect?

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