War in Ukraine: IAEA calls on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine’s Zaporizhia power plant and stop its actions against nuclear sites

The text, presented by Canada and Finland, was approved by 24 of the 35 States sitting on the Council, said two diplomats contacted by AFP. Russia and China voted against.

Seven countries abstained (Pakistan, India, South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia). Two were absent.

Two resolutions on the subject had already been adopted, in March and then in September, when the incessant bombardments in Ukraine raised fears of the risk of a nuclear accident.

In this text, the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “expresses its deep concern” at Russia’s refusal to stop its attacks against Ukrainian nuclear installations.

It calls on Russia “to drop its baseless claims to the Zaporizhia power plant, immediately withdraw its troops and personnel and cease all action” against the country’s power plants.

That of Zaporijjia, the largest in Europe, is particularly worrying. Occupied since early March by Russian troops, it is located in one of the territories annexed by Russia.

Not far from the line of demarcation between the territories controlled by kyiv and those occupied by Moscow, it is the target of regular bombardments, of which the two camps accuse each other.

Calls to demilitarize have multiplied, without success so far.

IAEA inspectors have been there since the beginning of September and the director general of the UN body, Rafael Grossi, has been leading negotiations for several weeks to set up a protection zone around the site.

The discussions, which he described as “very complicated”, aim to achieve a “very simple” objective: “do not shoot at the plant, do not shoot from the plant”, he had summarized on Wednesday, the first day of the quarterly meeting of the Board of Governors, calling for action “as soon as possible”.

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