SC - Ukraine

Statement held by Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Trine Heimerback in the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine, 23 August 2023.

Thank you Mr President,                                   

And thank you, USG DiCarlo, for your timely briefing.

Russia’s ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine has endangered nuclear safety and security in Ukraine, in the Russian Federation, in Europe, and beyond.

And we reject the Russian Federation’s use of the Security Council as a platform for disinformation.

There is no doubt that the safety and security in and around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has deteriorated because of the presence of an armed aggressor.

Russia’s continued illegal war has increased the risk of a nuclear accident with the potentially grave consequences for human health, and the environment, in Ukraine, in the Russian Federation, and elsewhere.

The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency has outlined seven indispensable pillars for nuclear safety and security, which we fully endorse. We note with great distress that virtually all seem to have been violated as a consequence of Russian aggression.

We call for maximum military restraint in the area of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

And we emphasise the importance of facilitating a mission from the IAEA to carry out essential safety, security, and safeguards activities- while fully respecting Ukrainian sovereignty.

In this regard, we note recent statements indicating that both Ukraine and Russia could support the IAEA’s aim to send a mission to Zaporizhzhia.

Mr President,

We remain concerned that Russia’s seizure of a nuclear power plant in Ukraine is also a means of taking hostage a central source of electricity supply, essential to the civilian population of Ukraine.

We call on Russia to return full control of the plant to its Ukrainian operator.

And we commend Ukraine for its commitment and dedication to ensuring continuous nuclear safety and security under severe circumstances.

Mr President,

Russia’s illegal war and unprovoked aggression has caused terrible suffering for the people of Ukraine, and beyond, including aggravating global food insecurity.

Let me end by again reiterating that the Russian Federation must immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine and its internationally recognised borders, and cease all threats and military actsions.

This would also restore Ukraine’s ability to ensure safe and secure operations of all of its nuclear facilities.

Thank you, Mr President.