Guterres said that it is necessary to demilitarize the territory of the nuclear plant and agree on it as soon as possible.
“I am seriously concerned about the situation developing in and around the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. I have called on all concerned to exercise common sense and reason and not to take any action that could jeopardize the physical integrity, safety or security of the nuclear plant – the largest of its kind in Europe.
Unfortunately, instead of a de-escalation, the past few days have seen reports of further deeply disturbing incidents that, if continued, could lead to catastrophe.
I call on the armed forces of the Russian Federation and Ukraine to immediately stop any military actions in the immediate vicinity of the plant and not to strike at its facilities or its surroundings.
I urge the parties to withdraw any military personnel and equipment from the plant and to refrain from further deployment of forces or equipment at the site. The facility may not be used as part of any military operation. Instead, an urgent technical-level agreement on a secure demilitarization perimeter is needed to ensure the security of the area.
The United Nations continues to fully support the important work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its efforts to ensure the safe operation of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. I call on the parties to grant the IAEA mission immediate, safe and unimpeded access to the site.
We must be clear that any potential damage to Zaporizhzhia or any other nuclear facilities in Ukraine or anywhere else could have catastrophic consequences not only for the immediate vicinity, but also for the region and beyond. This is absolutely unacceptable,” Guterres said in a statement.