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US envoy to UNSC: World nearly sustained ‘nuclear catastrophe’; Russian attack on nuke plant endangers Europe

In this photo taken from UNTV video, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield addresses an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Ukraine to deplore Russia's actions toward the country and plead for diplomacy, at UN headquarters, on February 23, 2022. (UNTV via AP)
In this photo taken from UNTV video, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield addresses an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Ukraine to deplore Russia's actions toward the country and plead for diplomacy, at UN headquarters, on February 23, 2022. (UNTV via AP)

Russia’s “reckless” overnight attack on a nuclear power plant in Ukraine endangered all of Europe, the US ambassador to the United Nations says. The world “narrowly averted a nuclear catastrophe last night,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield adds.

“Russia’s attack last night put Europe’s largest nuclear power plant at grave risk,” Thomas-Greenfield says during an emergency Security Council session to discuss Russia’s attack last night on Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.

“It was incredibly reckless and dangerous. And it threatened the safety of civilians across Russia, Ukraine, and Europe,” she says.

“Reliable electricity is vital for the nuclear facility, as are back-up diesel generators and fuel. Safe transit corridors must be maintained,” she says. “Russia must halt any further use of force that might put at further risk all 15 operable reactors across Ukraine – or interfere with Ukraine’s ability to maintain the safety and security of its 37 nuclear facilities and their surrounding populations.”

“We are gravely concerned that the Ukrainian operators are now doing their jobs under extreme duress,” she adds. “Nuclear facilities cannot become part of this conflict.”

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