Secretary-General Gravely Concerned about Unfolding Situation at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Calls for Immediate Cessation of All Military Activity
The following statement by UN Secretary-General António Guterres was issued today:
I am gravely concerned about the unfolding situation in and around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant in southern Ukraine.
I have appealed to all concerned to exercise common sense and reason and not to undertake any actions that might endanger the physical integrity, safety or security of the nuclear plant — the largest of its kind in Europe. Regrettably, instead of de-escalation, over the past several days there have been reports of further deeply worrying incidents that could, if they continue, lead to disaster.
I am calling for all military activities in the immediate vicinity of the plant to cease immediately and not to target its facilities or surroundings.
I urge the withdrawal of any military personnel and equipment from the plant and the avoidance of any further deployment of forces or equipment to the site. The facility must not be used as part of any military operation. Instead, urgent agreement is needed at a technical level on a safe perimeter of demilitarization to ensure the safety of the area.
The United Nations continues to fully support the critical work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its efforts to ensure the safe operations of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant. I urge the parties to provide the IAEA mission with immediate, secure and unfettered 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 lead to catastrophic consequences not only for the immediate vicinity, but for the region and beyond. This is wholly unacceptable.