UK Statement on Ukraine to the Emergency Meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors

Thank you Chair,

The United Kingdom would like to thank Canada and Poland for requesting this emergency meeting of the Board of Governors. We fully support the resolution text before us.

The United Kingdom is clear that Russia’s assault on Ukraine is an unprovoked, premeditated attack against a sovereign democratic state and a clear violation of international law and the UN Charter. The United Kingdom remains unwavering in its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

We condemn the Russian Federation’s unlawful actions in Ukraine and are gravely concerned that these actions seriously endanger the safety and security of nuclear materials and facilities in Ukraine. This constitutes a serious risk to the population of Ukraine, neighbouring states and the whole international community. We also condemn Russia’s campaign of disinformation – including the false notion that Ukraine have been pursuing nuclear weapons.

Chair,

We strongly reaffirm the decision of the IAEA General Conference in 2009 that “any armed attack on and threat against nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful purposes constitutes a violation of the principles of the United Nations Charter, international law and the Statute of the Agency”. Russia’s actions show a flagrant disregard for this decision, and for its other international commitments under the Budapest Memorandum and the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.

We are deeply concerned that Russia’s aggression has already damaged two radioactive waste disposal sites at Kharkiv and Kyiv. We commend the efforts of the Ukrainian regulator and staff at Ukrainian nuclear facilities who continue to provide updates on the status of nuclear sites and radiation monitoring data to the IAEA. We note that data has been severely disrupted for the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and Exclusion Zone and urge an immediate return to regular reporting from the site.

Russia’s actions are also a direct threat to the IAEA’s critical mission to support the peaceful use of nuclear technology and to our collective commitment to strengthen nuclear safety and security. The United Kingdom fully supports the IAEA in their professional and impartial efforts to restore nuclear safety and security in Ukraine.

We call upon the Russian Federation to cease all unlawful activities in Ukraine. It must de-escalate and withdraw its troops, and cease all use of force against Ukrainian Nuclear facilities. Full control over all nuclear facilities within Ukraine’s internationally recognised borders must be restored to the competent Ukrainian authorities, so that Ukraine can ensure their safe and secure operations in accordance with the NPT and the IAEA Statute.

Thank you Chair.

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