IAEA passes third resolution against Russia's actions at Ukrainian nuclear facilities

IAEA passes third resolution against Russia's actions at Ukrainian nuclear facilities

The UN's nuclear watchdog on Thursday called for Russia to end all actions at Ukrainian nuclear facilities, diplomats at the closed-door vote said.

This is the third time that the International Atomic and Energy Agency's (IAEA) 35-nation Board of Governors have passed a resolution of this sort.

The text submitted by Canada and Finland said that the watchdog urged Russia to immediately withdraw from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, Reuters reports.

"(The board) expresses grave concern that the Russian Federation has not heeded the calls of the Board to immediately cease all actions against and at nuclear facilities in Ukraine and requests that the Russian Federation do so immediately," the resolution's text said.

Russia and China voted against the resolution while Kenya, Namibia, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Vietnam abstained, the diplomats said.

Ukrainian staff continue to operate Zaporizhzhia, Europe's largest nuclear power plant, in conditions that the IAEA said put the plant's safety at risk.

Both Moscow and Kyiv blame each other for shelling that has damaged buildings at Zaporizhzhia and cut power lines essential to cooling reactor fuel and avoiding a nuclear meltdown.

The IAEA’s Director General, Rafael Grossi, has called for a protection zone around the plant to end the shelling and reduce the risk of a catastrophic nuclear accident. The resolution said the board endorsed Grossi's efforts.

"(The board) expresses grave concern with the unacceptable pressure on and detentions of Ukrainian operating personnel at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant and repeated disruption of external power supply following shelling in the surrounding area," the resolution's text added.