ua en ru

Europian countries urge Russia to withdraw troops from Zaporizhzhia NPP

Europian countries urge Russia to withdraw troops from Zaporizhzhia NPP Photo: Zaporizhzhia NPP (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The European Union and a number of partner countries called on Russia to immediately withdraw its troops, equipment, equipment, and other personnel from the illegally seized Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and return full control of the plant to Ukraine, according to an EU statement at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Governing Council.

As noted, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Ukraine joined the EU statement.

"We will never recognise Russia’s illegal attempts to take ownership of a nuclear power plant of another country. Russia must withdraw all its troops, military vehicles, equipment and other personnel from the ZNPP and fully respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders," it says in the statement.

The document emphasizes that the presence of Russian troops at the ZNPP and the presence of military vehicles in the engine rooms, as reported by the IAEA, "are unacceptable."

"The EU is deeply concerned about the conditions of the Ukrainian staff and calls for the immediate return of the workers who have been subject to reported forced disappearances," the representatives of the partner countries add in their statement.

It is also emphasized that the insufficient number of personnel at the ZNPP, 70% of whom do not have valid Ukrainian licenses and are not familiar with the basic technical information and operating procedures of block control panels, poses a serious risk.

"We insist that full control be handed back immediately to competent and authorised Ukrainian staff," the statement says.

The EU and partners also express concern that the instructions of the Ukrainian nuclear regulator to limit the operation of all six power units of the ZNPP to a "cold shutdown" are being ignored by the station's occupying administration. In addition, regular maintenance work is not performed.

The statement says that the IAEA mission at the plant over the past 11 months has not had the opportunity to visit the 330 kV open switchgear of the Zaporizhzhia TPP, and the agency's experts "have not yet received timely and unlimited access to all areas of the ZNPP that are important for nuclear and physical of nuclear safety".

The European Union also urged not to invite Russian high-ranking officials to events held under the auspices of the IAEA, given Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine.

The situation at the ZNNP

The Zaporizhzhia NPP has been occupied by Russian troops since the beginning of the Russian Federation's large-scale invasion of Ukraine. The Russians not only violate the operation mode of the station but also use its warehouses to store equipment and manpower. During the entire period of occupation, the station was disconnected from the energy system of Ukraine several times.

On November 19, at the Zaporizhzhia NPP temporarily occupied by the Russians, there was a leak of borated water from the coolant of the first circuit of the fifth power unit.

Before that, on November 16, Energoatom announced that reagents from the first circuit to the second circuit continue to leak at the ZNPP as a result of the actions of the interventionists at the 5th power unit.

On November 14, a partial blackout occurred at the station - power unit 6 of the ZNPP was de-energized, and then diesel generators and security systems started up. In this mode, the block was 90 minutes.

It was also reported that the fifth power unit of the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP is being transferred from the "hot shutdown" mode to the "cold shutdown" mode.

Earlier the Ministry of Energy reported that the situation at the ZNPP is deteriorating. As Minister Herman Galushchenko said, the station has not been working for over a year.