Mon, 26 Sep 2022

Odesa [Ukraine], August 19 (ANI): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday said that the electricity generated at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant belongs to Ukraine, after the reports emerged that Kremlin could divert the electricity to Russia-occupied parts of Ukraine.

"Obviously, the electricity from Zaporizhzhia is Ukrainian electricity and it's necessary - especially during the winter - for Ukrainian people. And this principle must be fully respected," Guterres said during his visit to the Ukrainian port of Odesa.

His comments come after Energoatom, Ukraine's state-run nuclear power operator, claimed earlier on Friday that Russian forces at the plant are "planning to stop the working power units in the near future and disconnect them from the communication lines supplying power to the Ukrainian power system."Guterres also reiterated his calls to create a demilitarized zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

"In close contact with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN Secretariat has assessed that we have in Ukraine the logistics and security capabilities to support any IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant from Kyiv, provided both Russia and Ukraine agree. Military equipment and personnel should be withdrawn from the plant. Further deployment of forces or equipment to the site must be avoided. The area needs to be demilitarized," the UN Chief said in a statement after the trilateral meeting in Ukraine.The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), located in southern Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia region has become a regular site for shelling in Ukraine and Moscow and Kyiv have each accused the other of striking the compound on Thursday and over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Guterres also discussed the investigation of the tragic incident in a detention facility in Olenivka that took place on 29 July.

He said, "What happened there is unacceptable. All prisoners of war are protected under International Humanitarian Law," adding that the International Committee of the Red Cross must have access to them wherever they are kept as he decided to establish a Fact-Finding mission and appointed General Carlos dos Santos Cruz of Brazil to lead this mission. He was commander of UN peacekeeping operations earlier.

Reiterating that the UN will continue to work to guarantee secure access to Olenivka, Guterres said Ukraine can count on the support of the United Nations to promote human rights, international law and the cause of peace.

The UN Chief and Zelenskyy signed the Black Sea Grain Initiative in Istanbul a few weeks ago, which was a landmark agreement as a solution to the global food crisis.

Guterres highlighted that 21 ships have departed from Ukrainian ports and 15 vessels have left Istanbul for Ukraine in less than a month to load up with grain and other food supplies. (ANI)

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