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The EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, has condemned this Saturday the recent decree of the Russian Presidency by which it assumes control and effective ownership of the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant.
“The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the decree of Russian President (Vladimir) Putin on the illegal takeover of the Zaporiyia Nuclear Power Plant and the creation of a state-owned company for this purpose,” Borrell has published in an official statement.
Moreover, Brussels has taken the opportunity to recall that it does not recognize and condemns the “illegal annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporiyia and Kherson.” “Consequently, the decree on the takeover of the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant is illegal, null and void and without legal effect.”
Borrell thus calls on Russia to withdraw its forces and military material and return the plant to “its rightful owner, Ukraine” and to comply with “the seven indispensable pillars for nuclear safety” mentioned by the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi.
It likewise calls for “unhindered access and presence of the IAEA” as an “urgently needed” measure and the creation of a “safety protection zone.”
Ukraine, Russia, and the IAEA confirmed Saturday that the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant has again been disconnected from the power grid following recent overnight shelling for which the two countries have again accused each other. The plant has been under Russian control since the military offensive launched on February 24.