Statement of the delegation of Ukraine at the UN General Assembly plenary meeting to consider the draft resolution “IAEA Annual Report”

Statement of the delegation of Ukraine at the UN General Assembly plenary meeting to consider the draft resolution “IAEA Annual Report”

Mr. President,

Ukraine welcomes the draft Annual Report for 2021. The document prepared in a timely and comprehensive manner.

This document is the 7th Annual report in a row prepared by the Secretariat since the start of the russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014.

We welcome the fact that the draft Annual Report for 2021, just as all previous reports, fully complies with the norms of international law, the IAEA Statute and respective safeguards agreements.

The legal framework for Agency’s safeguards implementation in Ukraine has not changed and will never do.

Every such report is a visible reminder for russia, an aggressor state, that the IAEA, just as all other multilateral organizations, especially international standard-setting bodies, operate within the rules that are vital to security, interests, values and prosperity of their respective Member States.

As russia, with complicity of Belarus, has been carrying out a brutal military assault on Ukraine, it will continuously face widespread condemnation and isolation in international bodies. The IAEA will not be an exception as russian aggression against Ukraine impacts the Agency’s work too.

We commend the Secretariat for efficient continuation of all programmatic activities, in particular related to safeguards implementation, despite challenges and complications in 2021. Ukraine takes note that the Agency was able to additionally introduce several initiatives to assist Member States in building their capacities in the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology.

Ukraine strongly supports the IAEA’s practical efforts to strengthen capabilities of the Illicit Trafficking Database (ITDB). The importance of this mechanism for information sharing has significantly grown due to unprecedented malicious acts of the russian army and representatives of “rosatom” who continue to occupy Zaporizhzhia NPP and other nuclear facilities located on the occupied territory of Ukraine.

Mr. President,

Russia’s actions against and at the Zaporizhzhia NPP contradict russia’s own formally professed standards, which documentally bar any actions, including military, that may result in any release of destructive factors and consequent severe losses among the civilian population.

Recent decree of russian president putin on the illegal transfer of the Zaporizhzhia NPP to the ownership of the Russian federation and the establishment of a government enterprise to manage the ZNPP grossly violate international law and are in contradiction to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement between Ukraine and the IAEA.

For generations, russia will be remembered as the only country that seized and occupied peaceful nuclear facilities. Russia’s neglect of the global arrangements in the nuclear field is a long-standing case with its history.

Back in 2014 russia occupied Crimea, a part of the sovereign territory of Ukraine, seizing nuclear facilities and material located there. Such grave violation remained without proper legal attention in terms of its nuclear understanding.

Never before has the international understanding of nuclear risks involved threats from State actors. Never before have nuclear risks emanated from a Nuclear-Weapon State.

Since now, States who are currently considering or embarking on nuclear power must work hard to improve or strengthen national regimes of physical protection of their nuclear infrastructure based on current Ukrainian experience.

Mr. President,

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has far-reaching repercussions that extend way beyond a breach of international law and a violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Russia's neglect of international nuclear obligations constitutes even more serious violation – the breach of non-proliferation regime established by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

While russia’s actions most directly threaten Ukraine and central Europe from the Baltic to the Black Sea, its military use of a nuclear power plant for battlefield advantage is a first in warfare, and a precedent that weakens principles underpinning the nuclear security regime worldwide.

Moscow’s actions against and at the Zaporizhzhia NPP represent a new dimension in warfare, using a peaceful nuclear facility as a potential ‘dirty bomb’ with which to terrorize the world and extort military and political concessions.

In this regard, most recently, Russia accused Ukraine of the development of a so-called ‘dirty bomb’, which is yet another fake narrative from Russia.

Following the visit of IAEA safeguards inspectors to three locations in Ukraine, no evidence of undeclared nuclear activities and materials have been found there.

It is important to take moscow’s threats seriously. Russia must be held accountable for its complete disregard of the norms of international law and in particular for its violation of the UN Charter and the IAEA Statute.

Russia must be deprived from exercising rights and privileges within the IAEA. In this regard para b of the article XIX of the IAEA Statute states as follows: “A member which has persistently violated the provisions of this Statute or of any agreement entered into by it pursuant to this Statute may be suspended from the exercise of the privileges and rights of membership by the General Conference acting by a two- thirds majority of the members present and voting upon recommendation by the Board of Governors”.

Ukraine encourages all States to adequately react on the national level by imposing sanctions on relevant russian state players, including official authorities, such as rosatom, and individuals involved in illegal acts at and against Ukrainian nuclear facilities.

Thank you, Mr. President.