It is demilitarization of the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP that is the goal of Ukrainian and international efforts – address by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Today, a new academic year began in our country, as it should be. Despite everything. More than six months of full-scale war. Extraordinary destruction caused by the occupiers. But the education of Ukrainian children continues.
Today, the IAEA mission arrived at Zaporizhzhia NPP. It’s good that it happened. The fact itself despite all the provocations by the Russian military and the cynical shelling of Enerhodar and the territory of the plant. Ukraine did everything to make this mission happen. But it is bad that the occupiers are trying to turn this IAEA mission – a really necessary one – into a fruitless tour of the plant. I believe that this will be prevented.
It is good that the IAEA representatives have an opportunity to draw objective conclusions about the risks that have arisen at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant for the first time in history. Moreover, the risks that have arisen precisely because of the occupiers. The main thing is to have the will to draw objective conclusions. Constant shelling, the presence of Russian military and weapons at the plant, tormenting Ukrainian personnel and attempts to put the plant under the control of Rosatom representatives who are not at all capable of a responsible attitude towards such an object… These are the reasons for the risks.
We have clear evidence that Russia did a lot of cynical things to deceive the mission. In particular, with the help of intimidation of residents of Enerhodar. The occupiers forced people to lie to the IAEA representatives – to hand over some papers, sign something, say something.
When we met with Mr. Grossi and members of the mission in Kyiv, we agreed that the mission would be accompanied by journalists from Ukrainian and international media. Independent journalists. For the world to see the truth. To see what is really happening. Unfortunately, this wasn’t done. Although it was promised. Unfortunately, the occupiers did not let the journalists in, but organized a bunch of their propagandists. Unfortunately, the IAEA representatives did not protect the representatives of independent media.
We are hopeful that the mission will nevertheless draw objective conclusions from the circumstances at the plant. For more than three decades, 5 facilities have been under the control of our specialists – the Chornobyl plant and 4 operational nuclear power plants. The IAEA never had any claims regarding the activities of any of these facilities until Russia invaded our territory and brought its madness here.
When the Russian military finally leave the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, when they take away their weapons, ammunition, when they stop shelling Enerhodar and neighboring areas and cease their provocations, the Zaporizhzhia plant will be able to return to a completely safe functioning, which has always been the case under the control of Ukraine.
And the key thing that should happen is the demilitarization of the territory of the plant. This is exactly the goal of Ukrainian and international efforts. And it is bad that we have not yet heard the appropriate calls from the IAEA. Although we talked about it with Mr. Grossi at our meeting in Kyiv. This was the key – the key! – security point of our agreements. It was clearly stated: demilitarization and full control by Ukrainian nuclear specialists.