Ukraine has put world on brink of ‘nuclear catastrophe’ – Moscow
Ukraine’s attacks on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant are creating an unacceptable risk, the chairman of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, said on Tuesday. Moscow will act to prevent a disaster from happening, while the US does not seem to care about the potential damage to Ukraine and its European NATO allies, the speaker of the Russian parliament has said.
“Kiev’s terrorist actions are putting the world on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe. We cannot allow this to happen,” Volodin said, opening the legislature’s autumn session.
While the US may be far away from the plant, “their NATO allies in Europe stand to suffer” in case of a radioactive release, Volodin noted, adding that the US government and EU parliaments are silent about the threat, but many other states around the world share Russia’s concern about the situation.
Russia has controlled Europe’s largest nuclear power plant since March. Attacks on the facility started in July, with the Russian Defense Ministry documenting more than 30 artillery and drone strikes, as well as two attempts by Ukrainian commandos to storm the plant, one during the visit of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission earlier this month. Kiev has accused Moscow of staging the shelling to make Ukraine look bad, even though its military eventually admitted to targeting the area.
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, who personally led the mission to inspect the plant, said on Monday that both Russia and Ukraine are “interested” in a proposal for a local ceasefire and a security zone around the ZNPP. All of its six reactors are currently offline, due to the ongoing artillery threat.
Moscow has rejected any notion of withdrawing its troops from the area, however, with the Kremlin saying that the only discussion at this time is “about forcing the Ukrainian side to stop the barbaric shelling” of the premises.
In his remarks on Tuesday, Volodin said, “time has once again shown the correctness of the decision” by President Vladimir Putin to send troops into Ukraine in February.