IAEA calls on Russia to withdraw from Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine

On Thursday, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors adopted a new resolution calling on Russia to withdraw from the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant and stop what it is doing against Ukrainian nuclear sites, according to diplomatic sources.

Two diplomats said the resolution, tabled by Canada and Finland, was approved by 24 of the 35 council members, with Russia and China voting against it.
Seven countries abstained: Pakistan, India, South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia, with two countries absent.

The agency had already adopted two resolutions in the same file, the first in March and the second in September, with growing fears of a nuclear accident caused by Russian bombing of Ukraine.

In the new resolution, the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency expresses “serious concern” over Russia’s refusal to stop its attacks on Ukraine’s nuclear facilities.

The resolution calls on Russia “to abandon its unfounded demands on the Zaporizhia plant, immediately withdraw forces and personnel and cease all activity” against the plants in Ukraine.

Of particular interest is the Zaporizhia Power Plant, the largest in Europe. Occupied by Russian forces since early March, it is located in one of the zones annexed to Russia, not far from the line of contact separating the zones controlled by Kyiv and those occupied by the Russians.
The station is subject to regular shelling, for which both sides take responsibility.

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have been at the facility since early September. The director general of the United Nations agency, Rafael Grossi, has been negotiating for weeks to establish a safe zone around the site.

Grossi said on Wednesday, on the first day of the agency’s quarterly board meeting, that the negotiations, which he considers “very complex”, aim to achieve a “very simple goal: not to shoot in central, do not fire from station,” calling to action. ASAP = ASAP”.

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