42 countries urge Russia to withdraw from Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine
Russian military’s presence at nuclear power plant ‘undoubtedly increased risk of nuclear incidents,’ countries say
At least 42 countries on Sunday called on Russia to withdraw from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine amid heightened tensions around the power plant.
A joint statement by the countries, dated Aug. 12, on the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was published on Sunday on the website of the EU Delegation to the International Organizations in Vienna.
“We urge the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw its military forces and all other unauthorized personnel from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, its immediate surroundings, and all of Ukraine so that the operator and the Ukrainian authorities can resume their sovereign responsibilities within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders and the legitimate operating staff can conduct their duties without outside interference, threat, or unacceptably harsh working conditions,” the statement said.
It noted that the Russia’s war on Ukraine and the presence of the Russian military at the nuclear power plant “undoubtedly increased the risk of nuclear incidents.”
“We strongly condemn Russia's attempts to use disinformation to justify its illegal actions in Ukraine,” the statement said.
The Zaporizhzhia station is Europe's largest nuclear power plant, producing around 20% of Ukraine's electricity.
Russia took control of the facility on March 4, roughly two weeks after beginning its offensive against Ukraine in late February.
Last Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged that all military activities immediately stop at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as Russia and Ukraine traded blame for the shelling at Europe's largest nuclear facility.
* Writing by Ahmet GencturkAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.