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15 Sep, 2022 19:56

Moscow responds to UN resolution on nuclear plant

Shelling by Kiev’s forces was not even mentioned, Russian diplomats point out
Moscow responds to UN resolution on nuclear plant

Russia has criticized the resolution adopted by the UN nuclear watchdog on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. The document passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is “anti-Russian” and does not say a single word about the Ukrainian shelling of the facility, Russian diplomats have said. The facility, the largest of its kind in Europe, is located in Ukraine but currently controlled by Russian forces. 

On Thursday, the IAEA Board of Governors adopted a document demanding Russia “immediately cease all actions against, and at, the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant and any other nuclear facility in Ukraine.” The text also said the board “deplores the Russian Federation’s persistent violent actions against nuclear facilities in Ukraine.”  

Russia’s mission to the IAEA responded by saying that the document was “pushed through” by the West, while “the majority of humanity refused to support it.” The resolution passed with 26 votes in favor. Russia and China, which are also on the board, voted against it, while seven nations – Egypt, South Africa, Senegal, Burundi, Vietnam, India, and Pakistan – abstained. 

Those supporting the document mostly consisted of the US and its allies in Europe and elsewhere. The Russian diplomats also blasted the fact that the resolution fails to mention the shelling of the station, the evidence for which Moscow had provided several times. The officials also accused Western nations of “supporting and shielding” Kiev in “every possible way,” while blaming Ukraine for the attacks. 

The document was passed in the wake of the IAEA mission that visited the Zaporozhye plant in early September. On Wednesday, in a phone call with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the IAEA's work, which is contributing to the safety of the facility. 

This was the second resolution adopted by the IAEA amid the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The first one was passed in March before Russian forces had taken control of the power plant. The documents are similar in nature and in both cases were introduced by Canada and Poland on behalf of Ukraine, which is not on the agency’s board, according to Reuters. 

Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the grounds of the plant. Kiev has denied the accusations and instead blamed Russia for the incidents, despite the area already being under Moscow’s control.

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