China calls on Russia, Ukraine to resume negotiations

Bejing’s envoy to UN supports proposed visit of IAEA team to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

China calls on Russia, Ukraine to resume negotiations

China has called on both Russia and Ukraine to resume negotiations and expressed concerns over the safety and security of nuclear facilities in Ukraine.

“We call on all parties concerned to resume negotiations as early as possible, seek a solution to the Ukraine crisis in a cool-headed and rational fashion, address each other’s legitimate security concerns, and build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, so as to achieve common security,” Zhang Jun, the Chinese ambassador to the UN, told the UN Security Council on Thursday.

“Only by defusing the situation and restoring peace at an early date, can we fundamentally remove nuclear risks, reduce misjudgment, and avoid accidents,” Zhang said, after receiving a briefing from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi on recent attacks on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Russia is currently in control of the facility after seizing it in March from Ukraine. The warring sides have blamed each other for the recent shelling of Europe’s largest nuclear plant.

Zhang called for respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the parties involved and urged the international community to “act responsibly to facilitate a proper solution of the crisis, and step up political and diplomatic efforts in order to create conditions for the parties concerned to return to the negotiating table.”

“The safety and security of nuclear sites must not be subjected to trial and error,” the envoy said, and warned that consequences of any accident at the Ukrainian nuclear plant “would be more devastating than that of the Fukushima nuclear accident.”

He also called for removing the “existing obstacles” so that Grossi and an IAEA team of experts visit the nuclear plant without delay, and “that they will be able to conduct their work without impediment.”

Hüseyin Demir