INDIA/UNITED STATES: At the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) conference on the Ukraine crisis, Indian ambassador to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj urged “mutual restraint” so as not to “endanger the safety and security of nuclear facilities” amid fears over fatal ramifications at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, currently under Russian threat.
The nuclear plant is among the top 10 largest nuclear plants in the world and is now operated by Ukrainian personnel but controlled by Russian forces.
Furthermore, Kamboj expressed “concern over reports of shelling near the spent fuel storage facility of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant”, assuring that New Delhi “attaches high importance to ensuring the safety and security of these facilities, as any accident involving nuclear facilities could potentially have severe consequences for public health and the environment.”
The UN along with the nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have expressed concerns about the prevailing conditions of the power plant in southern Ukraine. IAEA’s Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi has requested both Russia and Ukraine to grant access to the plant for further investigation.
The Indian delegate to the UN also said, “We accord high priority to the discharge by the IAEA of its safeguards and monitoring activities by its statute in an effective, non-discriminatory and efficient manner and we value the efforts of the agency in this regard.” The Indian capital has taken “note” of this issue, including IAEA’s updates on August 9-10.
Additionally, Kamboj also highlighted the aftermath of the Ukraine conflict on “developing countries, particularly on the supply of food grains, fertilizer and fuel.” The ambassador also elaborated on the importance of food networks to the rest of the world, and that it is “important for all of us to appreciate the importance of equity, affordability and accessibility when it comes to food grains, alerting that open markets must not become an argument to perpetuate inequity and promote discrimination.”
The Russia-Ukraine crisis has heavily impacted grain export globally, as both the warring nations are major exporters of wheat. At the briefing, India also supported the UN chief’s proposal to open Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea and coordinate of other exports of food and fertilisers from Russia. The ambassador said, “these efforts demonstrate that differences can be resolved through sustained dialogue and diplomacy, which has been the consistent position of India.”