Aug. 23 (BP) — Ukraine’s representative to the United Nations Security Council warned during a council meeting Tuesday that Russia is not taking the issue of nuclear safety seriously.
Russia convened the emergency meeting to discuss the “the situation around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.”
During Thursday’s Security Council meeting, Ukraine called for a team of inspectors to be able to assess the facility, saying Russia must allow for their safe passage to give the international community a clearer picture of the situation there.
“Russia is turning the issue of nuclear safety at the facility into a farce, a circus,” Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Sergiy Kyslytsya, told representatives.
Conditions at the plant have deteriorated in recent weeks amid intensified shelling there, raising international safety concerns.
Ukrainian workers continue to operate the massive plant under strict control and stressful conditions, government officials said.
Russia and Ukraine are blaming one another for the continued attacks and damage. Disinformation and fake news have played a major role in this conflict, and so the exact nature of the situation is unclear.
“Russia’s reckless behavior puts Ukraine, neighboring countries, and the whole world at risk of a nuclear catastrophe. Russia must immediately follow the recommendation of @antonioguterres and establish a demilitarized zone around the Zaporizhzhia plant,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield wrote on Twitter after the meeting.
Thomas-Greenfield was referencing the suggestion by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier this month.
“”Common sense must prevail to avoid any actions that might endanger the physical integrity, safety or security of the nuclear plant,” Guterres said Thursday.
The U.S. State Department warned any Americans in Ukraine to leave ahead of the country’s Independence Day on Wednesday. The department said there is a possibility of increased Russian air strikes during the coming week.