Almost four dozen IAEA countries called on the Russian Federation to return the Zaporizhzhia NPP to Ukrainian control

The EU countries, as well as North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Ukraine, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway strongly call on Russia to withdraw its military equipment and all personnel, including that of ROSATOM from the ZNPP, and return its full control to its rightful owner, Ukraine.

This is stated in the EU Statement to the IAEA Governing Council regarding nuclear safety, protection and safeguards in Ukraine.

The document states that the Russian Federation has shown no sign of complying with the three resolutions adopted by the IAEA Board of Governors in 2022, or the previous consensus resolutions of the IAEA General Conference which state that “any armed attack on and threat against nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful purposes constitutes a violation of the principles of the UN Charter, international law and the Statute of the Agency”.

“Each of the “seven indispensable pillars for ensuring nuclear safety and security in an armed conflict”, advanced by the Director General last year has been compromised as a result of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine. Many near-miss incidents have taken place. A nuclear accident with all its radiological consequences could so far be avoided, largely thanks to the resilience and dedication of the Ukrainian operating staff. The Russian Federation must stop pressuring the Ukrainian staff. They are working in increasingly small numbers and under high stress to maintain the safety and security of the ZNPP,” the statement said.

The EU and its Member States will never recognise Russia’s attempted illegal seizure of the ZNPP.

The EU fully supports the IAEA’s work to assist Ukraine in maintaining nuclear safety and security, and to implement safeguards pursuant to Ukraine’s safeguards obligations.

“Once again, the EU urges the Russian Federation to immediately stop its war of aggression against Ukraine, completely and unconditionally withdraw all its armed forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine, and fully respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders,” it says. in the document.

In addition, the signatory countries emphasize that no EU funding will be provided to IAEA projects directly benefitting Russia or Belarus, and no EU experts will participate in IAEA meetings taking place in Russia or Belarus. Participants call on the IAEA Secretariat not to invite high-level Russian representatives to IAEA-sponsored events.

“We encourage all IAEA Member States to follow a similar approach and scrutinise their respective projects and activities in order to avoid entering into cooperation with those who grossly violate international law. The aggressor is being isolated from the community of law-abiding countries and must be held accountable,” the Statement summarizes.

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