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EU calls on Russia to withdraw its troops and personnel from ZNPP.

The European Union supports the proposal of the IAEA Director General to establish a safety zone around the Zaporizhzhia NPP and also calls for the withdrawal of Russian forces and personnel from the plant and its further transfer to the control of Ukraine.

“We welcome the Director General’s proposal to establish a nuclear safety and security protection zone around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the modalities of which would still need to be agreed. In this regard, we support his call that military vehicles currently present inside and around the buildings must be removed so they do not interfere with the operation of the safety and security systems,” reads the EU statement read out at IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna on Thursday.

The EU also praised efforts to establish a more permanent IAEA presence at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in order to support Ukraine and provide information to IAEA Member States.

It was underscored that Russia’s occupation of the ZNPP “negatively affects the physical integrity of the facilities, the functionality of nuclear safety and security systems, operating conditions for Ukrainian staff, the off-site power supply, logistical chains, radiation monitoring and emergency response, and reliable communications with the Ukrainian regulator.”

It was also emphasized that Russia’s actions “pose serious and direct threats to the safety and security of Ukrainian nuclear facilities, and they have impeded the Agency from fully and safely conducting safeguards verification activities in Ukraine.”

The EU underscored that there was only one sustainable solution: “The Russian Federation must stop its illegal war of aggression against Ukraine, unconditionally withdraw all its armed forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine, including from the ZNPP, and fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders. Other Russian personnel must also leave the ZNPP.”

The EU stressed that “ZNPP needs to be returned to full and exclusive control of Ukrainian authorities” and “must remain an integral part of the Ukrainian energy system.”

The IAEA Board of Governors, which includes 35 UN member states, adopted a resolution calling on Russia to end its occupation of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine.

Photo credit: Sergei Ilnitsky/EPA/Shutterstock

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