Russia’s show at the United Nations

Russia has called a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the danger posed by the fighting around the power plant in southern Ukraine.

The Zaporizhia power plant, which is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, was seized by Russian forces in early March, shortly after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The recent intensification of fighting around this facility has raised fears that another nuclear disaster similar to the 1986 tragedy at Chernobyl could occur in Europe.

Ambassador of Russia to the United Nations Vasiliy Nebenzia on Tuesday accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the power plant and thereby creating the risk of a nuclear disaster.

Since the Security Council last discussed the issue nearly two weeks ago, “the nuclear safety situation has gotten even worse,” Nebenzia said, lashing out at Ukraine.

“Ukraine’s armed forces actually continue to shell the territory of the nuclear power plant and the city of Enerhodar every day, which poses a real risk of a radiation accident,” he said.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations, Serhiy Kyslycia, retorted that Russia is responsible for the risk, and therefore must withdraw its troops and allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) into the plant.

“The only thing the whole world wants to hear… is a statement that Russia is demilitarizing the Zaporizhia NPP, withdrawing its troops and handing it over to the Ukrainian government,” he said.

S. Kyslycia said that Kyiv supports the proposal to organize a visit of IAEA inspectors to the nuclear complex. The ambassador expressed hope that the UN nuclear watchdog would send people to monitor the plant permanently.

“It is very important to carry out this mission in such a way that the international community sees the real situation and not the theatrical Russian show,” he said.

Speaking at the beginning of the meeting, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo said that the two countries must urgently agree on the demilitarization of the plant.

“This facility cannot be used as part of a military operation. An agreement must be reached on a safe demilitarization perimeter to ensure the security of the territory,” she said.

“We reiterate our call on the parties to immediately grant the IAEA mission safe and unfettered access to the facility,” she added.

The UN has once again called on Russia and Kyiv to give the green light to an expert mission to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

In principle, the IAEA mission, which is supported by all parties, has not yet been able to start its work, because there is a disagreement whether the experts should go through the territory controlled by the Russians or – which would be correct from the point of view of international law – through Ukraine.

Russian Ambassador to the UN V. Nebenzia said at the Council meeting in New York on Tuesday that Ukraine “continues to shell the territory of the NPP practically every day”. This poses a “real risk of a radiation disaster with catastrophic consequences for the entire European continent.”

V. Nebenzia called on Western countries to stop defending Ukraine: “We get the impression that our colleagues live in a parallel world where the Russian army itself is bombing the place it protects.”

The Ukrainian ambassador to the UN categorically denied the Russian data. “No one can imagine that Ukraine would target a nuclear power plant and thereby create a huge risk of a nuclear catastrophe on its territory,” he said.

Russia is said to have the audacity to request a meeting of the UN Security Council “so that it can discuss its own provocations and its own terrorist actions.”

It is not allowed to publish, quote or otherwise reproduce the information of the news agency BNS in public information media and on websites without the written consent of UAB “BNS”.

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