IAEA Board of Govenors Meeting
Agenda Item 9: The safety, security and safeguards implications of the situation in Ukraine
9 June 2022
Thank you Chair.
It has been more than three months since the Russian Federation’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. The international community has responded swiftly to condemn Russia, to impose costs for Russia’s actions, and to support Ukraine. Yet violence endures, Ukrainians are fighting to defend their people and territory and, due to Russia’s actions, we continue to bear witness to one of the most shocking violations of international law in recent memory.
Australia condemns Russia’s reckless actions in relation to Ukrainian nuclear facilities.
Russia’s ongoing occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remains a threat to nuclear safety, security and safeguards in Ukraine and is quite appropriately an issue that ought to concern this Board. It is unacceptable that Ukrainian operators at Zaporizhzhia NPP continue to work under extremely difficult conditions in the presence of Russian forces and subject to interference from Russian officials. We also note with concern IAEA reports that transmission of remote safeguards data to the IAEA headquarters from Zaporizhzhia NPP was interrupted on 30 May. We call on Russia to immediately return control of all of Ukraine’s nuclear sites to Ukrainian authorities so they can independently undertake vital safety and operational functions and carry out their duties free of duress. This is also critical to ensuring the IAEA and Ukraine can implement safeguards on all nuclear facilities in Ukraine, consistent with their commitments.
It is imperative that the IAEA is able to safely visit the Zaporizhzhia NPP site and we support efforts to ensure this occurs in a manner that respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The most effective way of achieving these activities – clearly – is Russia’s complete withdrawal from Ukraine consistent with the legally binding decision of the International Court of Justice.
Australia firmly supports the IAEA and the Director General’s efforts to assist Ukraine and to address the safety, security and safeguards implications of Russia’s invasion. We would welcome regular briefings by the IAEA for Board members, as mandated by the resolution passed by this Board in March.
To support the IAEA’s work, and in response to requests from Ukraine, Australia is providing radiation monitoring and personal protective equipment to Ukraine through the IAEA Response and Assistance Network.
We have also pledged one million Australian dollars to support the Agency’s response to the situation in Ukraine, which will ensure the IAEA can carry out essential monitoring, safety and security activities.
Australia reiterates its full support for Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity. These principles lie at the heart of a rules-based order and are essential to global peace and security. We stand with Ukraine and call on Russia to cease all hostile actions and withdraw immediately from Ukraine.