Statement by the Permanent Representative of Ukraine H.E. Mr. Sergiy Kyslytsya at the UN Security Council meeting on situation in Ukraine

Statement by the Permanent Representative of Ukraine H.E. Mr. Sergiy Kyslytsya at the UN Security Council meeting on situation in Ukraine

Mr. President, distinguished members of the Security Council,

I also recognize here the representative of terrorist russia in the permanent seat of the Soviet Union. The representative of the state that extends their terrorist practices to the worst-ever level in the history of humankind, threatening the world with nuclear disaster.

Just half a year ago one could hardly imagine a situation when the biggest nuclear power station in Europe is seized following an armed attack with the use of tanks and artillery and then packed with military personnel and weaponry.

The weaponry that is used to shell Ukrainian cities and villages across the Dnipro River. It is a matter of alarm that in order to divert attention from these practices russia has resorted to dangerous provocations – staged shelling of the NPP itself.

The russians are well known for their elaborate plans of deceit, sabotage and cover-ups. Like the one we witness today. A conclusion one may draw from today’s torrent of deception by the russian envoy is that when they realized that their plan had collapsed like a house of cards Russia decided to go for broke and call for this meeting.

This call looks especially cynical considering their most recent attack on the facility, which happened early today and directly endangered both the plant facilities and personnel.

I would like to thank Director General Grossi for his briefing. He has provided us with a comprehensive update on the current situation that makes it clear that the only way to ultimately remove the nuclear threats stemming from the illegal russian presence at the nuclear power plant is the withdrawal of the russian troops and the return of the station to the legitimate control of Ukraine.

Mr. President,

Ukraine highly appreciates the efforts of the IAEA and the UN to ensure the safety and security of the Ukrainian nuclear facilities against the backdrop of the Russian invasion.

As Zaporizhzhia NPP has been occupied since 4 March with its personnel working at gunpoint, Ukraine has been in close consultation with the IAEA about the matter.

We have always underlined the importance of the full and consistent implementation by the Agency of its mandate. In this regard, since the beginning of russia's occupation of Zaporizhzhia NPP, Ukraine has insisted on the need to send a mission to the site and negotiated its modalities with the IAEA.
We deeply regret therefore that such a visit has not yet taken place due to the destructive russian position. Despite their public declarations, the occupiers have resorted to manipulation and unjustified conditions on the mission’s visit as well as shelling of the ZNPP and Energodar thus making the visit impossible so far.

We strongly reject the attempts by russia to escape responsibility for the delay by blaming Ukraine, the UN Secretary-General and the UN Secretariat, as was the case with the russian foreign ministry’s statement of August 9.

This prompted Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Kuleba to reiterate the extreme importance of conducting the IAEA-led international mission to the site in its letter to the IAEA Director General and the UN Secretary General, sent on August 9.

We welcome the readiness of the IAEA Director-General, expressed during his briefing, to send the IAEA-led international mission to the occupied ZNPP, which should be conducted in strict compliance with the national legislation of Ukraine and with full respect of its international obligations. We stand ready to provide the mission with all necessary assistance and facilitate its travel through Ukrainian controlled territory. In light of the continued militarization of the ZNPP site by the Russian armed forces, its shelling and subsequent damage to and mining of certain areas of the site, it is imperative that such a mission has qualified expertise in the military dimension. This can be achieved by having UN military experts included in the mission team.

Ukraine also sees a lot of added value in drawing upon relevant and extensive UN political expertise. The UN representatives will be able to make a significant contribution to the preparation of the mission’s final report, thus outlining the military dimension of the critical threats and challenges to nuclear safety, security and safeguards at the ZNPP site, stemming from its occupation and militarization by the russian armed forces.

Mr. President,

It is absolutely clear that the provocative russian practices of shelling the ZNPP and the city of Enerhodar pose an unprecedented threat to nuclear security for Ukraine, Europe and the whole world. Russia must strictly abide by the laws and customs of war, including those relating to nuclear facilities.
The shelling that took place on August 6 shed light on how these provocations are arranged. In particular, russian occupants present at the site at the time of the shelling, in total – about 500 soldiers and Rosatom representatives, took shelter in advance, before the shelling began, while one local employee was wounded. It also speaks volumes that Russian military hardware, deployed at the NPP was hidden in the power houses of the first and second reactors.

The shelling damaged three radiation monitoring detectors at the dry spent fuel storage facility site, which made impossible early detection and a timely response in the event of deterioration of the radiological situation or release of radiation from the spent fuel containers.

On August 7 the Russian armed forces again resorted to shelling the Zaporizhzhia NPP site and damaged the 750kV overhead line «ZNPP - Kakhovska susbstation». As a result of the shelling, a safety trip was activated at one of the power units.

Currently, this power unit is being cooled down. Consequently, there is only one remaining direction of power delivery at the Zaporizhzhia NPP. Should this last line be damaged, the Zaporizhzhia NPP will be totally de-energized.

Russian plans regarding the Zaporizhzhia NPP aim at destroying the plant infrastructure, disconnecting it from the energy system of Ukraine and cutting off electricity in the south of the country. Earlier, the Russian occupiers also mined the Zaporizhzhia NPP outside the cooling pond and the banks of Kakhovka reservoir, which borders the plant. Moreover, the Russian armed forces are using the plant as cover for shelling the Ukraine-controlled cities located on the opposite side of the Dnipro River, especially Marganets and Nikopol, with multiple launch rocket systems. Under these circumstances, the Ukrainian personnel of the Zaporizhzhia NPP continue to do their best to ensure nuclear and radiation safety, as well as to mitigate the consequences of the russian shelling.

Distinguished colleagues,

Let me underline that the Russian actions at and against Zaporizhzhia NPP completely violate practically all seven indispensable pillars of safety and security outlined by the Director General at a meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors on 2 March. We demand that Russia fully implement the resolution of the IAEA Board of Governors of March 3, 2022 “The safety, security and safeguards implications of the situation in Ukraine” Russia must immediately cease all actions against nuclear facilities in Ukraine and return control over all seized nuclear facilities to the Ukrainian side.

The international community must continue political pressure on the aggressor state of russia, and demand full and unconditional de-occupation of the ZNPP.

Ensuring the safety and security of a nuclear facility cannot be seen as a “goodwill gesture”. This is the duty of an Occupying Power in accordance with international humanitarian law.

Let me explain it to the russian ambassador in the simplest way, step by step, in a way that even a schoolkid could understand:
- state it loud and clear that russia allows an IAEA-led mission immediately and unconditionally; - demine the facilities of the ZNPP; - remove your military personnel and withdraw your weaponry.

Enough games!

Dear colleagues,

None of us can stop the wind if it carries radiation. But together we are capable of stopping a terrorist state. And the sooner we stop Russia, the sooner Europe and the world will be able to feel safe again.

Thank you.