As the ongoing war between Moscow and Kyiv continues unabated, Russia has denounced the United Nations' (UN) proposal to create a "demilitarised zone" around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) in Ukraine. Substantiating its argument, Russia claimed that the demilitarisation of the region would make it vulnerable to the people who want to visit the plant. "No one knows what their goals and objectives will be. We cannot rule out any provocations, terrorist attacks on the station, which we must protect," stated Vasyl Nebenzia, Russia’s permanent representation in the UN, Interfax news agency reported.
Earlier on Thursday, August 11, UN secretary general, António Guterres urged the removal of all military personnel and equipment from the plant. He also appealed to avoid the further use of any additional military personnel or equipment in the region. "I am calling for all military activities in the immediate vicinity of the plant to cease immediately and not to target its facilities or surroundings. We must be clear that any potential damage to Zaporizhzhia or any other nuclear facilities in Ukraine, or anywhere else, could lead to catastrophic consequences not only for the immediate vicinity, but for the region and beyond," Guterres remarked, as per Interfax.
Additionally, Guterres urged all parties involved in the events in Ukraine to use "common sense" and desist from taking any actions that would jeopardise the plant's physical integrity, safety, or security. Located in southern Ukraine, the ZNPP is the largest nuclear plant in Europe and has been occupied by Russia since March this year.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the main council of the regional administration, claimed that the UN chief was acting "irresponsibly" by suggesting to create a security perimeter around the nuclear plant. "He is acting like a completely irresponsible person as if he were not the UN secretary-general but the devil's advocate. He is trying to accomplish the tasks set by our enemy — literally nuclear terrorists. We are not talking about the Kyiv regime but about its overseers and supervisors," Rogov told Rossiya 24 broadcaster, Sputnik reported. It should be noted here that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has also warned of "serious consequences" amid fresh shelling around Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.