The Russian Federation’s assault on Ukraine is an unprovoked, premeditated and barbaric attack against a sovereign democratic state. The United Kingdom continues to utterly condemn the Russian government’s actions in Ukraine, which are an egregious violation of international law and the UN Charter.
We remain gravely concerned about the nuclear safety implications of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, including its continued control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is preventing the competent Ukrainian authorities from upholding their safety responsibilities.
Russia’s actions have demonstrated a blatant disregard for international nuclear safety and the objectives of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, and Russia is directly putting at jeopardy the safety of millions who would be affected by a nuclear incident in Ukraine. This is not the action of a responsible nuclear State, and it is right that this serious issue is recognised during the meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Joint Convention.
The United Kingdom would also like to express its full support for the IAEA’s efforts to ensure the safety, of nuclear material and facilities in Ukraine and we praise the IAEA staff who have responded to the situation.
We urgently call on the Russian Federation to cease all unlawful activities in Ukraine. It must de-escalate, withdraw its troops and cease all use of force against, and in the vicinity of, Ukrainian nuclear facilities and allow the competent Ukrainian authorities unfettered access, with no conditions, to ensure the continued safety of all nuclear facilities on Ukraine’s sovereign territory.
The United Kingdom would like to again recognise and praise the heroic efforts of the Ukrainian staff at Ukrainian nuclear facilities, particularly at Zaporizhzhia and Chornobyl, who continue to work tirelessly to ensure that Ukraine complies with its nuclear safety obligations, despite working under immense pressure and dealing with unacceptable aggression from the Russian Federation.