BRUSSELS: The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the decree of Russian President Putin on the illegal seizure of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and the establishment of a government enterprise to that matter. The EU does not recognise and strongly condemns Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. Consequently, the decree on the seizure of the ZNPP is illegal, and legally null and void.
Russia must fully withdraw its military forces and equipment and hand back control of the NPP to its rightful owner, Ukraine. The seven indispensable pillars of nuclear safety and security as set out by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency must be fully adhered to and be respected. A reinforced IAEA presence at the site and its unhindered access to the plant are urgently needed in the interest of the security of Europe as a whole. A nuclear safety and security protection zone must be established immediately, without prejudice to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The EU strongly supports the efforts of the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency to this end.
The EU remains unwavering in its support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, and demands that Russia immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraws all of its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine. The European Union firmly stands with Ukraine and will continue to provide strong economic, military, social and financial support to Ukraine for as long as it takes.