Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nikolai Tuchitsky called on the international community to impose a no-fly zone over the country’s nuclear power stations.
During the conference on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on Monday, Tuchitsky said that there is a need for resolute joint actions to prevent a nuclear catastrophe at the global level.
He added that Ukraine asked the skies above the Ukrainian atomic stations to be closed and be provided with air defense systems.
It is noteworthy that there are 4 atomic stations operating in Ukraine, comprising 15 nuclear reactors, including the Zaporizhzhia plant, which is considered the largest atomic station in Europe and is currently under Russian control.
In the same vein, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday called Moscow’s actions around Ukraine‘s largest nuclear power plant “the height of irresponsibility,” accusing Russia of using it as a “nuclear shield” in attacks on Ukrainian forces.
Russia was accused in March of dangerously firing missiles near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which its forces seized in the first weeks of the invasion of Ukraine.
“Of course, the Ukrainians cannot fire back lest there be a terrible accident involving the nuclear plant,” Blinken said.
Russia’s actions went beyond using a “human shield,” he added, calling it a “nuclear shield.”
It said the sole purpose of Russian forces’ taking over Zaporizhzhia was to “prevent Ukrainian nationalist formations and foreign mercenaries from making use of the current situation in Ukraine in order to carry out a nuclear provocation with most unpredictable consequences.”
Ukrainian officials have previously accused Moscow of deploying troops and storing military equipment on the territory of the power plant.