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5 Feb, 2023 21:53

Kiev sanctions Russian nuclear industry

Some 200 entities have been blacklisted for 50 years
Kiev sanctions Russian nuclear industry

Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council has introduced sanctions on the Russian nuclear industry, President Vladimir Zelensky said in a statement on Sunday. The list of entities subject to the restrictions includes the Rosatom nuclear agency, as well as the company operating the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) – Europe’s biggest nuclear power station.

Zelensky accused Russian troops of shelling nuclear power stations in Ukraine and using them as “cover” for strikes.

“These are sufficient reasons for the Russian nuclear industry to be subjected to global sanctions,” he said. The president issued a decree on Sunday, which blacklisted a total of 200 entities for a period of 50 years.

The ZNPP once belonged to Ukraine but fell under Russian control in the spring of 2022. It is located in Zaporozhye Region, which formally joined Russia in autumn 2022 following a referendum, along with three other former Ukrainian territories, including the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and Kherson Region.

The plant has been repeatedly subjected to artillery shelling and suicide drone attacks over the past year while Moscow and Kiev trade blame over the incidents.

Moscow insists that damage to the facility is attributable to Kiev’s forces, while Ukraine has claimed that Russia, for unnamed reasons, has itself been targeting the site it controls. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has only established that attacks on the plant have occurred, but has refused to assign blame to either party.

Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine nearly a year ago, citing the need to protect the people of Donbass and Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014-15 Minsk peace accords. Ukraine has said the attack was entirely unprovoked.