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Russia’s actions have violated all pillars of nuclear safety and security: UK statement at the Security Council

Thank you, President, and I thank Director General Grossi for your briefing.

Since the start of its full-scale invasion, Russia’s reckless actions at nuclear facilities across Ukraine have threatened the safety of Ukrainians and the international community.

Let me be clear, Russia’s control of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is illegal and continues to pose a serious threat to the facility’s safe and secure functioning.

The IAEA’s February report confirmed the continued presence of military personnel and activity across the site, and described a situation that is “dangerous, precarious and challenging”.

Unauthorised military vehicles and stores sit in turbine halls. Landmines in the vicinity of the plant endanger Ukrainian operating staff and delay maintenance work. Supply chains and associated logistics continue to be severely impacted by the conflict, and off-site power supplies remain vulnerable.

New imagery shows Russian forces have established sandbag fighting positions on the roofs of several of the six reactor buildings. This indicates they have integrated the actual reactor buildings, of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, into tactical defence planning.

Russia’s actions have violated all of Director General Grossi’s ‘seven pillars of nuclear safety and security.’

We’ve always been clear that as long as Russia’s illegal control of the plant continues, its safe and secure operation cannot be ensured.

As the Director General said, the situation simply cannot go on. I thank him and his colleagues at the IAEA for their bravery and ceaseless efforts to support nuclear safety and security in Ukraine, together with the Ukrainian Government.

We continue to support the IAEA’s work in Ukraine and its efforts to ensure the safe and secure use of nuclear technology around the world.

We recognise Director General Grossi’s efforts to maintain safety at the Zaporizhzia plant including through his five principles, as part of a solution that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty.

I pay tribute too to the bravery, professionalism and resilience of Ukrainian staff at the plant who continue to work tirelessly under duress.

President, the situation at Zaporizhzhia is entirely of Russia’s making.

Russia can resolve this situation at any time. It should withdraw its troops from the plant and from all of Ukraine.

Thank you.

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