26 Apr 2023 16:53

Tourism in Chernobyl NPP exclusion zone not to be resumed until end of crisis - Ukrainian natural resources minister

MOSCOW. April 26 (Interfax) - Ukrainian Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Ruslan Strilets sees no prerequisites for resuming tourism in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

"The territory of the zone is under special control. I think that tourism will not be resumed here until the end of martial law. First of all, it is unsafe for tourists themselves," Ukrainian media quoted Strilets as saying at a press briefing during his visit to the Exclusion Zone on the 37th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on Wednesday.

At the same time, he noted that Ukraine intends to pursue a largescale reform in the near future that will affect not only the Exclusion Zone, but also nature reserves as a whole.

As for the Exclusion Zone, the minister said he expects it to turn into a scientific hub.

"Work on this is already underway," Strilets said. There are agreements on the creation of a hub with many countries, which should be implemented. In particular, France has confirmed its interest in it, Strilets said, citing the results of a recent meeting with that country's environment minister.