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IAEA urges Russia to ‘cease actions’ at forcibly seized Ukraine nuclear sites

UN nuclear watchdog passes resolution deploring Moscow’s activity in Ukraine and ‘other violent actions,’ including taking control of Chernobyl

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi speaks at a press conference after the IAEA Board of Governors meeting on the Situation in Ukraine at the Agency's headquarters in the Vienna International Centre in Vienna, Austria, on March 2, 2022. (Lisa Leutner/AP)
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi speaks at a press conference after the IAEA Board of Governors meeting on the Situation in Ukraine at the Agency's headquarters in the Vienna International Centre in Vienna, Austria, on March 2, 2022. (Lisa Leutner/AP)

VIENNA, Austria — The UN nuclear watchdog passed a resolution on Thursday urging Russia to “cease all actions” at Ukraine’s nuclear facilities, including the site of the Chernobyl disaster, after it invaded the country.

The resolution at the board of the governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also “deplores the Russian Federation’s actions in Ukraine, including forcefully seizing control of nuclear facilities and other violent actions,” according to a copy of the text sent to AFP.

A diplomatic source said the resolution passed by a large majority, with 28 countries in favor and only Russia and China voting against.

Senegal, South Africa, Vietnam, Pakistan and India abstained, according to the source.

Ukraine has four active nuclear power plants, providing about half the country’s electricity, as well as stores of nuclear waste such as the one at Chernobyl.

Poland and Canada had requested the meeting, which began on Wednesday, and proposed the resolution.

Chernobyl was the site of the worst nuclear accident in history in 1986 and last Thursday the site fell to Russian troops.

On Wednesday, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi called for an immediate end to the conflict at the meeting, saying this was “the best action to ensure the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities.”

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