Russia Awaits UN Chief to Clarify Proposal on Demilitarizing Zaporozhye Plant - Nebenzia
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - Russia will await for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to clarify his proposal to demilitarize the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) before commenting on it, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vasiliy Nebenzia said.
"I don’t understand what he means with this proposal; let him first clarify what he means by this suggestion," Nebenzia said at a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday.
Nebenzia said demilitarizing the ZNPP and the immediate area around it would make it prone to armed provocations and Russia’s priority is preserving the nuclear power station.
The ambassador said Russia had requested the UN Security Council meeting to draw attention to the danger of Ukraine continually shelling the ZNPP.
Over the weekend, Moscow and Kiev accused each other of shelling the ZNPP. A Russian defense official said that a possible accident at the ZNPP would surpass the scale of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters. The official warned that in case of such a disaster at the ZNPP, the entire territory of Ukraine, the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, as well as Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Bulgaria and Romania would be affected by nuclear contamination.
The ZNPP, located on the left bank of the Dnieper River, is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe in terms of the number of units and total installed capacity. Since March, the plant has been under the control of the Russian military. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the ZNPP is currently being managed by a Ukrainian operator.