Amid the escalating tensions in Ukraine, Russia on Wednesday issued a statement outlining the risks of nuclear war, saying “nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”.
“In implementing its policy on nuclear deterrence, Russia is strictly and consistently guided by the tenet that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. Russian doctrinal approaches in this sphere are defined with utmost accuracy, pursue solely defensive goals and do not admit of expansive interpretation,” Kremlin said in a statement on preventing nuclear war.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has raised concerns about the security situation at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).
The ZNPP site has been controlled by Russian forces since March. Until recently, operational decisions were taken by its Ukraine staff, but Russia has announced it has taken control of the facility and is now taking those decisions.
In recent months the site has been beset with power outages caused by shelling, putting nuclear safety and security at the plant at risk.
Russia said it is strongly convinced that in the current situation, “caused by irresponsible and impudent actions aimed at undermining our national security,” the most immediate task is to avoid any military clash of nuclear powers.
“We urge other states of the ‘nuclear five’ to demonstrate in practice their willingness to work on solving this top-priority task and to give up the dangerous attempts to infringe on vital interests of each other while balancing on the brink of a direct armed conflict and encouraging provocations with weapons of mass destruction, which can lead to catastrophic consequences,” it added.
In a further sign of the precarious situation in the area of the ZNPP, the IAEA team has reported there had been shelling in the vicinity of the plant in recent days, following a period of reduced military activity.
Last week, shelling near the thermal power plant switchyard temporarily disconnected one of the ZNPP’s three back-up power lines through which the town of Enerhodar has been receiving electricity.
“Operating staff at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant are working hard in very challenging circumstances to prevent the kind of repeated power outages we saw in early October,” Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi of the IAEA.
“While their determined efforts have had some positive results, the plant’s power situation remains extremely vulnerable.”
Director General Grossi has engaged in high-level talks with both Ukraine and Russia in recent weeks aimed at agreeing and implementing a nuclear safety and security protection zone around the ZNPP as soon as possible.