Accusations were exchanged between the United States and Russia on Thursday (11) at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council over the situation at the Russian military-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.
The region has been hit by bombings, which Kiev and Moscow blame on each other, and the plant is not remotely monitored by members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The meeting was called by Russia, which has accused Ukraine of engaging in “hostile” activities there.
During her speech, Bonnie Jenkins, the undersecretary for arms control and national security, said the cause of the current problems is “not a mystery, but Russia’s illegal presence in the structure.” Therefore, he said, Russian troops must immediately leave the plant – as well as the entire occupied Ukraine.
In the same tone, the British ambassador to the UN, James Kariuki, recalled that five months ago, the CS itself decided that Russia should stop operating there, but until today “Russian actions have violated almost all seven pillars of nuclear safety and security. “.
In turn, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said that “Ukraine’s criminal actions against the nuclear power plant put the world on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe comparable to Chernobyl.”
In a statement directed at the United States, Nebenzia said, “If our Western colleagues do not bring reason to Kiev, we warn that even more brutal and senseless acts will occur beyond Ukrainian borders.”
It is impossible to say independently who is actually carrying out the attacks on the plant, which is currently causing smaller but equally worrying damage. On Thursday morning, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Kiev and Moscow to stop fighting.
Shortly before the meeting began, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky released a video message in which he called on the “international community to react immediately” to “hunt down the aggressors of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.”
“We can only guarantee nuclear security across Europe if the Russians fully withdraw,” he added.
During the technical part of the meeting, IAEA Director General Raffaele Croci once again appealed to a panel of experts from the agency to visit the nuclear power plant face-to-face. Moreover, Kiev and Moscow have exchanged accusations that the other is unwilling to allow the visit.
Grassi said he wanted to direct the mission to survey the area and make an “independent assessment” of the risks. In addition, he alleged that military operations must be “immediately stopped” as they could have “serious consequences”.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is located in Energodar and since March 4, it has been under Russian military control but operated by Ukrainian technicians. Although the plant has a total of six nuclear reactors, only two reactors are in use.
In one of the latest attacks, Moscow said it had shut down one of the reactors, but could not independently confirm the information because the IAEA does not have access to remote monitoring data. .
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