The G7 Foreign Ministers called on Russia to immediately transfer the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and all nuclear facilities in Ukraine to Kiev's control, according to the joint statement issued on Wednesday by the German Foreign Ministry, which holds the G7 presidency.
"We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union, reiterate our strongest condemnation of the ongoing unprovoked and unjustifiable war of aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. The Russian Federation must immediately withdraw its troops from within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders and respect Ukraine’s territory and sovereignty," the document states.
"In that context, we demand that Russia immediately hand back full control to its rightful sovereign owner, Ukraine, of the Zaporizhzhya (Zaporozhye - TASS) Nuclear Power Plant as well as of all nuclear facilities within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders to ensure their safe and secure operations," the ministers said. They believe that "Ukrainian staff operating the Zaporizhzhya (Zaporozhye - TASS) Nuclear Power Plant must be able to carry out their duties without threats or pressure." "It is Russia’s continued control of the plant that endangers the region," the G7 foreign ministers stressed.
The Ukrainian armed forces have repeatedly shelled the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. Energodar’s military-civilian administration reported that shrapnel from a missile fired on the night of August 7 fell no further than 400 meters from the operating power unit. The day after the Ukrainian military shelled the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant area three times on August 5, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the main council of the region's military-civilian administration, told TASS that the air defense team in the Zaporozhye Region would be strengthened.
With a capacity of around 6,000 megawatts, the six-unit Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is the biggest one in Europe. It used to generate a fourth of Ukraine’s electricity. Since 1996, it has been an isolated unit of Ukraine’s Energoatom national nuclear company. In March 2022, control of the power plant came over to Russian forces. Currently, it is operating at 70% of its overall capacity, since there is oversupply of electricity in the Zaporozhye region. It is planned to supply electricity from this power plant to Crimea.