The U.N. nuclear watchdog’s 35-nation Board of Governors on Thursday passed its third resolution since the outbreak of war in Ukraine calling on Russia to end all actions at Ukrainian nuclear facilities, diplomats at the closed-door vote said.
The text submitted by Canada and Finland and seen by Reuters also specifically said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) called on Russia to immediately withdraw from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.
Twenty-four countries voted in favour, two voted against, seven abstained and two were absent, the diplomats said.
“(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.
Russia and Ukraine 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.
IAEA chief 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 supports 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.