Zaporozhye burn – Newspaper Kommersant No. 39 (7240) of 03/05/2022

Zaporozhye burn – Newspaper Kommersant No. 39 (7240) of 03/05/2022

The fire at the Zaporozhye NPP caused a strong resonance in the world community. The incident on Friday during an emergency meeting discussed the UN Security Council. Consultations were also held in other formats, in particular, in NATO and the G7. At the same time, despite the concern about the situation in Ukraine, world powers are in no hurry to directly intervene in the conflict. NATO, for example, has again announced that it does not intend to introduce a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Against this backdrop, Kyiv acknowledged that negotiations with Moscow were difficult. The only hope for now is the opening of humanitarian corridors.

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Friday in connection with the fire at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. The meeting was requested by the British side, and the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, also agreed with its necessity. The situation has not gone unnoticed by the IAEA either. The organization’s director general, Rafael Grossi, even expressed his readiness to come to Ukraine to hold talks between Moscow and Kiev on ensuring the security of nuclear facilities. As a negotiating platform, he proposed Chernobyl, control over which was established by the Russian Federation.

Zaporozhye NPP is located 550 km southeast of Kyiv in the city of Energodar. This is the largest power plant in Europe, which generates about 20% of all electricity in Ukraine. The fire at the nuclear power plant occurred on Friday night.

As the IAEA director general explained, this happened as a result of a shell hitting a building on the territory of the station, which was not part of the buildings with nuclear blocks.

Moreover, the rocket, according to him, “came from Russian forces.” Meanwhile, in the evening, Rafael Grossi confirmed: no security systems were affected, the reactors were not hit.

According to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, under a negative scenario, a catastrophe equal to “six Chernobyls” and capable of “stopping the course of history” could occur. For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry said that everything that happened was a “monstrous provocation” by Ukrainian saboteurs: they sat down in the training complex (where the fire broke out), attacked the patrol of the National Guard and, after a shootout, leaving the building, set it on fire. As Igor Konashenkov, official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, noted, the Russian side has established full control over the territory of the nuclear power plant.

The incident caused a wave of indignation abroad.

“The reckless actions of President Putin can now directly threaten the security of all of Europe,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

His Canadian colleague Justin Trudeau said: “terrible attacks” by the Russian Federation must be stopped immediately. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called the situation an “attack on general security.” US President Joe Biden called on Moscow to stop hostilities near nuclear power plants. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the fire at the station “demonstrates the folly of this war and the importance of ending it.” The Chinese Foreign Ministry also stated about “serious concern about the state of safety and security of nuclear facilities in Ukraine”.

The situation in Ukraine as a whole is causing more and more concern in the West. To discuss it, on Friday the foreign ministers of the G7 countries held a video conference. And the heads of the foreign ministries of the NATO countries gathered in Brussels. “The coming days are likely to be even worse, there will be more deaths, more suffering and more destruction,” Mr. Stoltenberg said. He also expressed concern that in Ukraine, according to him, weapons are used that are contrary to international law.

Despite this, the NATO Secretary General said that the alliance will not create a no-fly zone over Ukraine, as requested by Kyiv.

“The only way to create a no-fly zone is to send NATO fighters into the airspace of Ukraine, and then enter this no-fly zone by shooting down Russian planes … If we do this, we will get what could end in a full-scale war in Europe,” he explained, calling on Vladimir Putin to diplomacy.

Meanwhile, the second round of talks between Ukraine and the Russian Federation that took place the day before was marked by an important, but not a breakthrough agreement on opening humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians and the delivery of assistance to those who remain in the war zone. All Friday the parties discussed logistics and other technical details. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) should be the mediator. The head of the organization, Peter Maurer, warned on Friday that the situation in Ukraine threatens a “devastating humanitarian crisis” as the death toll rises and hospitals struggle to cope with the wounded. The ICRC told Kommersant that they maintain contact with all parties and welcome any initiative “that gives civilians a respite.” “Parties to conflict must facilitate humanitarian work by ensuring safe access to supplies and assistance, and by allowing safe and voluntary passage for people who wish to leave. The ICRC is ready to play the role of a neutral intermediary and provide support within its capabilities,” the organization said.

As for other aspects of the negotiations, there is no hope for a cessation of hostilities yet. “The talks that took place were a good opportunity to clearly convey to the Ukrainian side our vision of solving this problem,” said Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, pointing out that he considers it premature to give other assessments. “The position of Russia is tough… But the position of the supreme commander of Ukraine and Ukraine as a whole is also tough. Because the negotiations will go hard. But they will keep going,” Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, said in turn. According to him, the third round of negotiations could take place as early as March 5 or 6.

Marianna Belenkaya, Alexander Ivanov


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent News

Editor's Pick