10 Aug 2022 14:01

G7 urges Russia to hand control of Zaporizhzhya NPP back to Ukraine - statement

BRUSSELS. Aug 10 (Interfax) - The foreign ministers of G7 member states urged Russia on Wednesday to hand control of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant back to Ukraine.

"We demand that Russia immediately hand back full control to its rightful sovereign owner, Ukraine, of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant as well as of all nuclear facilities within Ukraine's internationally recognized borders to ensure their safe and secure operations," the ministers said in a statement on Wednesday.

The G7 ministers welcomed "IAEA Director General Grossi's efforts to strengthen nuclear safety and security in Ukraine."

"Against this background, we underline the importance of facilitating a mission of IAEA experts to the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant to address nuclear safety, security and safeguard concerns, in a manner that respects full Ukrainian sovereignty," they said.

A source in the Russian mission to the United Nations told Interfax earlier that Russia had asked for a UN Security Council meeting on August 11 to address Ukrainian attacks on the Zaporizhzhya NPP. Another source said that Russia had asked Grossi to attend the meeting as a rapporteur.

The Ukrainian army attacked the Zaporizhzhya NPP again on August 7. Damage was done to administrative buildings.

Some time ago, Grossi expressed concern about the attacks on the Zaporizhzhya NPP and the readiness to lead a mission of IAEA safety, security and safeguards experts to the site.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at the end of May that the IAEA administration was staying in touch with both Russia and Ukraine with regard to a possible visit to the Zaporizhzhya NPP, currently controlled by Russian forces.

The Zaporizhzhya NPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. The first of its six VVER-1000 reactor units was commissioned in December 1984, and the sixth unit commenced operation in October 1995.