US supports demilitarized zone at Ukraine nuclear plant

After demanding Russia surrender the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant to Kiev, the US is now advocating a demilitarized zone instead

US supports demilitarized zone at Ukraine nuclear plant

US supports demilitarized zone at Ukraine nuclear plant

With Russia accusing Ukraine of shelling the Zaporozhye nuclear facility, the US has endorsed Kiev’s call for Moscow to withdraw

The US State Department on Thursday officially endorsed Ukraine’s demand for a demilitarized zone around the Zaporozhye nuclear power power plant (ZNPP), demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops that control the area. A statement from Foggy Bottom came as the UN Security Council was meeting on Moscow’s request to discuss the alleged Ukrainian artillery attacks on the facility, which Russia says may result in a radioactive disaster.

“Fighting near a nuclear plant is dangerous and irresponsible – and we continue to call on Russia to cease all military operations at or near Ukrainian nuclear facilities and return full control to Ukraine, and support Ukrainian calls for a demilitarized zone around the nuclear power plant,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement.

requested a demilitarized zone on Thursday, urging both Russia and Ukraine to “withdraw any military personnel and equipment from the plant and refrain from any further deployment of forces or equipment to the site.”

demanded of Russia to “immediately hand back full control” of the ZNPP to Ukraine and enable International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) personnel to access the facility, but made no mention of a demilitarized zone.

Meanwhile, the US, Canadian, and European nuclear associations published a letter calling for IAEA access to the ZNPP and the withdrawal of Russian troops, but also for a 30-kilometer “safe zone” around the site, in which both Ukrainian and Russian forces would “cease military activity.”

since late July, and have allegedly previously used drones to strike at the facility – the largest in Europe. 

The latest attack was reported on Thursday, with units of the Ukrainian 44th Artillery Brigade firing at the plant from Nikopol and damaging the reactor coolant systems, the Russian Defense Ministry said. Only the expertise of Russian troops prevented catastrophic damage to the site, the ministry said.

Moscow is treating Ukrainian attacks on the ZNPP – as well as Wednesday’s shelling of the brewery in Donetsk that resulted in a major ammonia spill – as “acts of terrorism,” the Russian Defense Ministry added.

“elementary logic” suggests that Russia has no reason to target the facility or its own troops, and that multiple attacks on the ZNPP have been documented from the Ukrainian-held territory in Dnepropetrovsk Region. If a nuclear disaster does occur as a result of the shelling, all responsibility will be on “the Western sponsors of the Kiev regime,” he said.