India expresses concern over shelling near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuke power plant, calls for ‘mutual restraint’ | India News

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New York: India has expressed its concern over the reports of shelling near the fuel storage facility of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Ukraine, calling for mutual restraint as the Russian military operations entered nearly six months, while addressing a UNSC briefing. India’s statement came after Ukraine accused Russia of shelling the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) again on Thursday. “India expresses its concern over the reports of shelling near the spent fuel storage facility of the Zaporizhya Nuclear Power Plant. We call for mutual restraint so as not to endanger the safety and security of nuclear facilities,” ANI quoted India`s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ruchira Kamboj as saying.

She said that they are following the developments regarding the safety and security of Ukraine`s nuclear power reactors and facilities, adding that India attaches high importance to ensuring the safety and security of nuclear facilities, as any accident involving nuclear facilities could potentially have severe consequences for public health and the environment.

Ruchira Kamboj further said, “We also accord high priority to the discharge by the IAEA of its safeguards and monitoring activities, in accordance with its Statute in an effective, non- discriminatory and efficient manner, and we value the efforts of the Agency in this regard. We have noted the latest information available with regard to the nuclear power plants and facilities in Ukraine, including the updates published on August 9 and 10 by the IAEA, and today`s updates on developments.”

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Stating that India continues to remain concerned over the situation in Ukraine, Kamboj reminded the UNSC that ever since the conflict between the two countries started, India has consistently called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and an end to violence, adding that “India has called upon both sides to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue. India supports all diplomatic efforts to end the conflict.”

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“While we are discussing the nuclear dimension of this conflict, we need also to be acutely cognizant of the impact of the Ukraine conflict on developing countries, particularly, on the supply of food grains, fertilizer and fuel. It is important for all of us to appreciate the importance of equity, affordability, and accessibility when it comes to food grains. Open markets must not become an argument to perpetuate inequity and promote discrimination,” she added. 

Indian envoy also welcomed the UN Secretary General-backed initiative to open the exports of grains from Ukraine via the Black Sea and the facilitation of the exports of Russian food and fertilizers, adding “These efforts demonstrate that differences can be resolved through sustained dialogue and diplomacy, which has been the consistent position of India. We continue to reiterate that the global order should be anchored on international law, the UN Charter and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states.”

Zelenskyy urges world to react on Russian-controlled N-plant

Earlier in his daily video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the international community to force the Russian army to leave the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after multiple strikes hit the compound, adding “The entire world must react immediately to chase out the occupiers from Zaporizhzhia. Only the Russians` full withdrawal… would guarantee nuclear safety for all of Europe.” 

This statement came after Ukraine accused Russia of shelling the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) again on Thursday, Al Jazeera reported. Earlier, the Chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demanded access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant “as soon as possible” for their safety. 

“I ask that both sides cooperate… and allow for a mission of the IAEA to proceed as soon as possible,” Rafael Mariano Grossi said in an address to the UN Security Council.Grossi said the IAEA had received updates from both Ukraine and Russia, but that the information provided was often contradictory, according to Al Jazeera. 

“So I propose, I plead to call this mission as soon as possible,” he said, adding that preventing a nuclear disaster was a “collective responsibility.” Ukraine`s interior minister said that Kyiv is making contingency plans to face any scenario at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, including evacuating people from the area.”

Meanwhile, the UN Chief has called for an immediate end to all military activity around Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, warning that any damage could lead to “catastrophic consequences” in the region and beyond, reported Al Jazeera.

In a statement issued before a UN Security Council meeting to discuss security at the plant, Antonio Guterres appealed “for common sense and reason” to avoid any actions “that might endanger the physical integrity, safety or security of the nuclear plant”.

Notably, Russia launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, which the West has termed an unprovoked war. As a result of this, the Western countries have also imposed several crippling sanctions on Moscow. 

(With ANI Inputs)

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