“Any attack on nuclear plants is… suicide,” the UN chief said, adding that he hoped that the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency wouldIAEA) will be able to reach the factory for inspection.
Both Moscow and Kyiv deny responsibility for the attack on the Zaporizhzhia factory over the weekend.
While Europe’s largest nuclear power site has been under Russian control since the early days of the war, Ukrainian technicians are still running it.
Nuclear disaster: ‘Real risk’
Energoatom, the operator of Ukraine’s nuclear power plant, said Russian shelling damaged three radiation screens around a spent nuclear fuel storage facility, in which a worker injured.
The shelling promote IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi warned that the way Zaporizhzhia is being run and the fighting around it poses “a very real risk of a nuclear disaster”.
Since then, a preliminary assessment by UN nuclear monitoring experts has shown that the safety and security situation appears to be stable and there is no immediate threat, although some pillars have been damaged. violate.
“We support the IAEA in their efforts regarding the creation of stable conditions for that plant,” the UN chief said, adding that he hoped that the IAEA would be able to access the plant.
Ukraine-Russia peace agreement
When asked why a peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine has yet to be implemented, the UN chief said it has been working very closely with Türkiye, which has “launched a new initiative regarding the the possibility of starting peace negotiations”.
But he explained that Ukraine cannot accept that “its territory is taken by another country” and that Russia “doesn’t seem ready to accept” that the areas it has taken over “will not be taken by the Russian Federation”. annex or give way to new independent States. “.
Mr. Guterres’ comment followed a visit Hiroshima over the weekend where the Secretary-General marked the 77th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear attack on August 6, 1945, which destroyed the city and killed 140,000 people.
Amid Russia’s threats of a nuclear attack since it invaded Ukraine in February, fears of a third atomic bombing have grown.
During Monday’s press conference, the head of the United Nations reiterated his warning about the use of nuclear weapons, saying that if used, the United Nations would likely be unable to respond because “We may all not be here anymore“.
As the world now has 13,000 nuclear bombs while continuing to invest heavily in modernizing its nuclear arsenal, Guterres warns that after decades of efforts to denuclearize, we are “draw back”.
“Stop,” he urged, noting that the billions of dollars spent in the arms race need to be spent “fighting climate change, fighting poverty, [and] address the needs of the international community”.
The secretary-general will next travel to Mongolia and South Korea to discuss how to resolve North Korea’s nuclear development.
‘Common sense’ restraint
When asked about China’s major military exercises around Taiwan, Mr. Guterres said the UN “adheres to the resolution of the General Assembly, the so-called One China policy”.
The dispute was sparked by a visit to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week.
“We all want that solution to be compatible with a peaceful environment,” he said, “while calling for common sense and restraint to allow for ‘de-escalation’ is extremely important.”