MOSCOW, September 2. /TASS/. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has warned Kiev that it would be culpable for any possible emergencies at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant if Ukraine continues its provocations.
"I want to emphasize that in the event of further provocations all culpability for any possible emergency situations will be fully borne by the Ukrainian authorities," Shoigu said at the ministry’s conference call on Friday.
The defense chief noted that Ukraine’s continued shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear plant poses a genuine danger of a nuclear catastrophe in Europe, and Kiev’s actions should be qualified as nuclear terrorism by international law.
"Kiev is posing a real threat of a nuclear disaster in Europe by shelling the nuclear plant’s facilities. Under international law, that is yet another example of nuclear terrorism," he maintained.
"Despite the arrival of IAEA specialists to the scene, the provocations rage on," Shoigu stated. "The Ukrainian military opened fire yesterday not only at the Zaporozhye NPP but also along the route of the IAEA mission to the plant."
Shoigu also said that the United States and the European Union are encouraging Kiev's provocations by muting the situation around the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, while Russia is doing everything for its safe operation.
"The United States and the EU are deliberately keeping silent about the situation regarding the plant, encouraging such reckless actions. For its part, Russia does its utmost to provide for the safe operation of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant," the minister stressed.
On September 1, the much-awaited team of IAEA experts arrived at the Zaporozhye facility, located in the city of Energodar. The delegation is on a fact-finding mission to estimate the material damage to the plant and to evaluate the operational capabilities of the nuclear station’s safety and security systems.
The experts are supposed to assess the staff’s working conditions and take urgent measures to provide safety and security guarantees for the facility.
Energodar, which is the site of the Zaporozhye plant, Europe’s largest nuclear power facility, has been the target of shelling attacks by the Ukrainian military over the past few weeks. When carrying out its strikes against the nuclear power plant, the Kiev regime is 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.
On the morning of September 1, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that Ukrainian troops attempted to disembark at 07:00 at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, near the Vodyanoe village. The attempted raid was thwarted by Russia’s Armed Forces, when they sank two self-propelled barges carrying saboteurs that departed from Nikopol.
Also, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, at 06:20 Moscow time, the Kiev regime carried out a landing by two Ukrainian sabotage groups with a total number of up to 60 people on seven speedboats on the coast of the Kakhovka reservoir, three kilometers north-east of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. The Defense Ministry reported that the Ukrainian servicemen were hemmed in by units of the Russian National Guard and the Russian Armed Forces.