Given the growing danger to Ukrainian NPP as a result of the Russian invasion, the UN should make efforts to close the skies over nuclear facilities in Ukraine.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mykola Tochytsky made such a call at the UN conference dedicated to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
“For the first time in history, civilian nuclear facilities were turned into military facilities and bridgeheads of the Russian army – in violation of the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons regarding the peaceful use of atomic energy,” the representative of Ukraine said.
He emphasized that the world “witnessed how nuclear terrorism” sponsored by a nuclear state arises in reality. In this regard, Tochytsky called on the UN to take “decisive joint actions” to prevent a nuclear catastrophe on a global scale. “We ask to close the sky over nuclear power plants in Ukraine, to ensure protection by air defense systems, to prove that an aggressor cannot go unpunished just because he possesses nuclear weapons,” the deputy minister said. He reminded that Russia violated all norms of international law by launching a war against Ukraine and clearly expressing its intentions to locate its nuclear arsenal on the territory of non-nuclear states, which seriously threatens the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The United States said Russia was using the largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine as a “nuclear shield” by stationing soldiers there, preventing Ukrainian forces from returning fire and threatening a catastrophic nuclear disaster. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed “grave worry” that the Zaporizhzhia factory, which Russia was accused of launching shells dangerously close to in March, was now a Russian military station used to fire on Ukrainian soldiers in the area. Blinken told reporters following Monday’s nuclear nonproliferation discussions at the United Nations in New York, “Of course, the Ukrainians cannot fire back lest there be a tragic disaster involving the nuclear facility.” Blinken said Russia’s activities went beyond using a “human shield,” describing them as a “nuclear shield.”