UN, August 18. /TASS/. Kiev is violating basic principles of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as it continues shelling the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (NPP), a senior Russian diplomat said.
Igor Vishnevetsky, the deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department, said speaking at the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in New York, that "in the course of the day [August 17] the Ukrainian side delivered another strike on the Zaporozhye NPP."
"Ukraine continues delivering completely irresponsible strikes on the Zaporozhye NPP violating not only seven principles of [IAEA Director General Rafael] Grossi, but the basic principles of the agency as well," Vishnevetsky said.
"It’s forbidden to strike nuclear facilities, it’s forbidden to subject nuclear power plants to artillery fire or any other fire. This is extremely dangerous," he said.
"The Ukrainian side understands it very clearly but, nevertheless, continues doing it, practically being involved in a nuclear terrorism. It raises great concern that it [Ukraine] receives support in doing this," the diplomat stated adding that it all "can end up with a catastrophe."
Vishnevetsky also said that a delegation of the IAEA is unable to visit the Zaporozhye NPP until Ukraine stops delivering armed strikes on the nuclear facility.
"No calls are needed to restore IAEA’s control over the Zaporozhye NPP in order to reflect the current developments," he said. "All involved parties already work on it. It is quite possible, that the IAEA would promptly resume control. But its delegation must arrive there."
"All sides must be cooperating for this to happen. In order for it [IAEA delegation’s visit] to happen, first of all, the Ukrainian side should stop its shelling of the Zaporozhye NPP. A delegation is unable to arrive there, while it [the facility] is under fire - it is very dangerous," Vishnevetsky stated.
"This is what we need to think about and this is what we should call for," the Russian diplomat added.
The Zaporozhye NPP is under the control of the Russian army. Over the last few days, the Kiev regime has delivered several strikes against the station’s territory, using drones, heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems. In most cases, the attacks are repelled by Russian air defense systems. However, some rockets hit the NPP’s infrastructural facilities, including nuclear waste storage sites.
The Zaporozhye NPP is the largest in Europe. It consists of six power units and has a capacity of about 6,000 MW. It used to generate a quarter of all electric power in Ukraine.
Currently, the NPP operates at 70% capacity as the area of the Zaporozhye Region liberated from the Ukrainian army has a surplus of electricity power.
Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine
The situation along the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported the most massive bombardments by the Ukrainian military in recent months, which damaged civilian infrastructure and caused civilian casualties.
On February 21, President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Russia signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. Moscow recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as of the beginning of 2014.
Russian President Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics for assistance he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.
The DPR and the LPR launched an operation to liberate their territories under Kiev’s control.