The G7 of the largest advanced economies condemned on Wednesday the Russian occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plantand urged Moscow to return full control to Ukraine.
“We demand that Russia immediately return full control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to its rightful sovereign owner, Ukraine.”, the G7 wrote in a statement issued by Germanywho holds the presidency.
The group said “deeply concerned about the grave threat” posed by the Russian military to “security” of Ukrainian nuclear facilities.
The plant’s Ukrainian staff “You must be able to perform your duties without threats or pressure. Continued Russian control of the plant endangers the region”, pointed out the foreign ministers of the member countries of the group.
The Zaporizhzhia plant, the largest nuclear plant in Europe, has six of the 15 Ukrainian reactorscapable of supplying energy for four million homes.
Ukraine accused Russian forces on August 5 of bombing near a reactorand Russia responded by considering that they were launched by Ukraine.
The Russian forces that have occupied it since March are preparing their connection with the peninsula of crimeaannexed by Moscow since 2014, according to the Ukrainian operator Energoatam.
After the fights, Energoatom stated that it would have to deactivate another reactor due to the damage caused to a high voltage line that supplied electricity to two Ukrainian regions.
In addition, another reactor is being repaired, so then there would only be two working.
“The Russian military present at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant launches the Rosatom program (the Russian operator, ndlr) to connect the plant to the Crimean power grid”affirmed the president of Energoatom, Petro Kotinto Ukrainian television.
The agency also states that Russia stored dozens of items of military equipment and ammunition in the control room of the first reactor, although he added that he is still in contact with the plant and receiving data to monitor the plant’s radiation.
The United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkenassured that Moscow uses Zaporizhzhia as “a military base from which to shoot at the Ukrainians, knowing that they cannot, and do not want, to respond.”
Based on information provided by Ukraine, experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) estimated that last weekend’s bombing “did not constitute an immediate threat to nuclear security”, according to the CEO Raphael Grossi.
In an updated statement on Wednesday, he reiterated the need for a mission of IAEA experts will visit the plant as soon as possible.
The IAEA has not been able to visit the facility since the conflict began more than five months ago.
The Ukrainian nuclear agency said on Monday that there had been no change in radiation levels.
(With information from AFP)
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