Attack on Ukrainian nuclear site a ‘reckless act’



Ireland’s foreign affairs minister has described the shelling of a nuclear power station in south-eastern Ukraine as a “reckless act” and one that breaches international law.

Russian forces shelled the power station in the city of Zaporizhzhia overnight, with the attack continuing even as emergency services tried to put out the resulting fire.

Simon Coveney also warned that the war in Ukraine will get “a lot worse” in the coming days.

“This was an extremely reckless act by Russia to be militarily attacking a nuclear power station of this size and scale,” Mr Coveney told Today with Claire Byrne.

“Let me just give you a sense of the scale of this particular plant.

“It produces almost half of all of nuclear power in Ukraine.

“It’s the largest plant in Europe produced but it produces about 6,000 megawatts of power, which effectively would power the entire island of Ireland.

“Irish people will be familiar with the story of Chernobyl.

“This is very different plant, in terms of makeup, and technical operation from what I understand, but it’s still, apart from anything else a complete breach of international law.”

Mr Coveney is in Brussels, where foreign ministers are meeting in for an emergency session to respond to the crisis in Ukraine.



All of the briefings that I’ve got from various partners, whether it’s the EU, the UK, the US, the signs are not good

simon coveney

The Fine Gael minister also said that the war is expected to get worse in the next few days.

“All of the briefings that I’ve got from various partners, whether it’s the EU, the UK, the US, the signs are not good,” Mr Coveney added.

“President (Vladimir) Putin yesterday was very direct, unfortunately, with (French) President (Emmanuel) Macron that he intends on finishing this war.

“He wants all of Ukraine and things are going to get a lot worse in the next few days.

“That is what Russia is saying.

“That is a very bleak outlook.”

Mr Coveney said that the EU will discuss adding further sanctions against Russia.

He said the intent is to isolate Russia internationally and send a strong signal to Moscow to show the world is “disgusted” by the events in Ukraine.

“There will be more Russian banks taken out of the Swift system,” he added.

Flowers and messages of support left outside the Ukraine Embassy in Dublin. Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said ministers will look at how Ireland can help the people of Ukraine, both in its political and humanitarian response (Brian Lawless/PA)

(PA Wire)

“I suspect all Russian flagged ships will be banned from entering EU ports, which is a huge decision given the need to trade in bulk products that only arrive by ship coming from Russia.

“I also expect that we’ll be banning other imports, like steel, timber, aluminum, possibly coal as well which would have a huge impact on potentially, on energy prices in the European Union, given how much coal is imported from Russia.

“These are big decisions by the European Union that are going to have an impact on Ireland and EU countries.

“But their decisions that need to be taken to send very, very strong messages to Russia that this madness must stop.”


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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