Russia blocks final text of UN nuclear treaty agreement over Zaporizhzhia mention

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Russia blocked the adoption of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) text over its reported objection to paragraphs linked to the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia which is currently occupied by Russian forces.

“Our delegation has a key objection on some paragraphs which are blatantly political in nature,” Russia’s representative Igor Vishnevetsky said. The draft text reportedly expressed  “grave concern” over military activities around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and other nuclear installations in Ukraine.

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Conference president Gustavo Zlauvinen declared that an agreement could not be reached after Russia objected to the text. The NPT is reviewed by all 191 signatories every five years. Earlier in the conference, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had warned that the world faces “a nuclear danger not seen since the height of the Cold War” referring to the Ukraine war.

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“Today, humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation,” Guterres said. Russia’s latest move comes as Ukraine informed electricity  supply from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was restored after it was severed on Thursday.

The nuclear power plant was connected to the grid on Friday afternoon as Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said alert staff averted a ‘nuclear disaster’ while underlying that situation remains “very risky and dangerous”.

Russia had taken control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant just days after President Vladimir Putin launched his “special military operation” against Ukraine. There have been reports of rocket strikes around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant area as both Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other.

“Russia has put Ukrainians as well as all Europeans one step away from radiation disaster,” Zelensky had said as he blamed Russian shelling for the power cut-off. unkindwhile, Ukraine said an IAEA inspection of Zaporizhzhia plant is being planned for next week even as the US said the electricity produced at the nuclear power plant belonged to Ukraine.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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