Poland calls for suspension, perhaps expulsion of Russia from IAEA

27 September 2022, 12:23 PM
Poland proposes to exclude the Russian Federation from the IAEA (Photo:REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)

Poland proposes to exclude the Russian Federation from the IAEA (Photo:REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)

Russia should be suspended and potentially expelled from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Polish Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moskwa said on Twitter on Sept. 26.

"While we are sitting here, the territories of Ukraine are occupied by Russian troops,” the official wrote.

“We demand de-Russification of the occupied territories and demilitarization. Until then, Russia should be suspended as a member of the IAEA. If they do not meet these conditions, they should be expelled from the organization.”

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The ZNPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, and has been occupied by Russian forces since March 4. Several ZNPP facilities have been damaged by Russian shelling, and the station's employees are captives of the occupying troops.

Russian troops are known to have set up firing positions at the ZNPP and have regularly shelled Ukrainian cities from them. Ukrainian state nuclear power company Energoatom has reported that the Russian military placed more than a dozen pieces of military equipment, including ammunition, weapons, and explosives in the turbine hall of the first reactor of the plant.

In total, more than 40 units of Russian military equipment have been placed on the grounds of the facility.

The situation at ZNPP has been in the spotlight since early August, when the Russian military began to regularly shell the plant, creating the risk of a nuclear disaster.

On Aug. 25, Russian troops provoked the first temporary disconnection from the power grid in the history of the ZNPP. The ZNPP was again disconnected on Sept. 11, due to further Russian shelling that damaged all power lines connecting the plant to the Ukrainian power grid.

Despite the obstacles from the Russian invaders, a delegation of 14 IAEA experts arrived at Russia-occupied ZNPP on Sept. 1. After spending several hours at the facility, part of the delegation departed. Two agency experts remain at the power plant, monitoring the situation. Grossi later said the agency will have a permanent presence at ZNPP.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russia had made an effort to prevent IAEA from getting a complete picture of what’s going on at ZNPP, but noted that the agency could still play a role in pressuring Moscow to demilitarize the facility.

Following the visit, the IAEA head said that the physical integrity of the Zaporizhzhya NPP had been violated several times, which is unacceptable. Grossi promised an "impartial" and "neutral" assessment of the situation.

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