Exclusive-Draft IAEA resolution on Ukraine condemns Russian invasion

By Francois Murphy

VIENNA (Reuters) -A draft decision being ready for Wednesday’s emergency assembly of the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s board condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a transfer that may anger Moscow whereas it really works with the West to clinch a nuclear settlement on Iran.

Canada and Poland known as the emergency assembly of the Worldwide Atomic Vitality Company’s 35-nation Board of Governors, the company’s principal decision-making physique that convenes greater than annually, at Ukraine’s request.

Canada and Poland are main the method of drafting the decision textual content, which has but to be formally submitted. Whereas the present textual content already has the assist of a majority of nations on the board, it could possibly be watered down to realize extra votes and additional isolate Russia, diplomats concerned stated.

The board “condemns within the strongest phrases the Russian Federation’s aggression towards Ukraine”, the draft seen by Reuters stated in unusually sturdy and broad language, past the strictly nuclear sphere of the IAEA.

That’s more likely to anger Russia, whose ambassador to the IAEA, Mikhail Ulyanov, not too long ago quipped on Twitter “It (the IAEA board) cannot focus on the scenario in Ukraine. It would focus on, inside its mandate, nuclear points associated to #Ukraine.”

A diplomat whose nation is on the Board of Governors stated that since Ukraine has 4 nuclear energy stations and varied waste websites together with Chernobyl, which Russia has seized, the broader context of the invasion itself is related.

“The nuclear programme is going on in actual life, within the context of a army invasion that places nuclear amenities in danger,” the diplomat stated.

The draft “expresses grave concern” at Russia’s actions, “considerably elevating the chance of a nuclear accident or incident, which endangers the inhabitants of Ukraine, neighbouring states and the worldwide neighborhood”.

It calls on Russia to stop its actions at Chernobyl and elsewhere “to ensure that the competent Ukrainian authorities to protect or promptly regain full management over all nuclear amenities…and guarantee their protected and safe operations, and to ensure that the Company to completely resume its safeguards verification actions”.


Western powers and Russia have for nearly a yr labored intently to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in talks in Vienna involving some diplomats from main powers, like Ulyanov, who additionally attend IAEA board conferences. However the warfare in Ukraine is creating a way of urgency to conclude talks earlier than tensions spill over cooperation turns into unimaginable.

A decision on the IAEA board solely wants a easy majority to move, and with feelings operating excessive many Western nations and their allies will again it. However there’s a sturdy custom of in search of consensus or a minimum of giant majorities, and that’s more likely to carry with it a softening of the textual content, diplomats say.

The dialogue on the IAEA coincides with and to some extent mirrors a debate about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the 193-member United Nations Basic Meeting, which is about this week to vote to deplore Moscow’s “aggression towards Ukraine” and demand that Russian troops cease preventing and withdraw.

Whether or not the textual content being mentioned on the IAEA does sufficient injury to ties between Russia and the West to have an effect on the opposite nuclear discussions in Vienna, over Iran, stays to be seen.

Whereas the Iran talks contain a handful of main powers and Tehran, the IAEA board is a extra different group, and for a few of these nations sending a sign over Ukraine is the precedence.

“Not many (nations) are happy with Russia for the time being, clearly,” one Western diplomat stated.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Enhancing by Edmund Blair and Mark Heinrich)

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