Guterres calls on Ukraine and Russia to secure a demilitarized zone around the Zaporizhia power plant
A few hours before a meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant (Ukraine), the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has issued a statement in which he calls on Russia and Ukraine to not to carry out attacks or military operations in or around the plant, to establish a demilitarized zone around it and to give “unrestricted” access to the facility to a mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency to assess its condition.
Guterres begins the statement declaring himself “seriously concerned” about the situation at the plant and regrets that, despite his repeated calls for “common sense” from kyiv and Moscow to “not carry out actions that could endanger the physical integrity or security” of the plant, “in recent days very worrying incidents have been reported” at the plant. If continued, they could “lead to disaster.”
For this reason, it once again calls on the Russian and Ukrainian armies to “immediately cease any military activity in the immediate surroundings of the plant and not to target its facilities or surroundings.” Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of the attacks in recent days and kyiv accuses Moscow, which controls the plant, of stationing artillery units there from where they attack Ukrainian soldiers with the certainty that they will not respond so as not to damage the plant. . Russia denies doing so.
In addition, Guterres asks both sides to “withdraw all their military personnel” from the center and not to redeploy it there. “On the contrary, a technical agreement for a secure demilitarization perimeter is urgent to guarantee the security of the area.” He also asks the parties to give “immediate, safe and unrestricted access” to an IAEA mission.
“We must make it very clear that any potential damage to Zaporizhia or any nuclear facility in Ukraine, or anywhere else, could have catastrophic consequences not only in the surrounding area, but for the entire region and beyond. This is absolutely unacceptable,” Guterres concludes.