The Espo Convention is concerned about the devastating effects of Russia’s military offensive

The Bureau, under the Transboundary Context (ESPU Convention) Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment, has expressed its deep concern over the devastating effects of the Russian-led military offensive against Ukraine on human lives, serious environmental damage and catastrophic damage. Threats to the safety of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant, as illustrated by recent events in Zaporizhzhya and Kharkiv.

In a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the parties to the ESPO Convention, George Kremlis, Chairman of the Bureau under the ESPO Convention, wrote on 14 March that the military occupation and control mentioned above – and perhaps more – Ukraine’s nuclear power plants are extremely serious and far-reaching Risks the safety precautions required for efficiency and maintenance.

“Several Ukrainian nuclear power plants (Khmelnitsky, Rivne, southern Ukraine and Zaporizhia) are currently under scrutiny by the Implementation Committee under the ESPU Convention, which includes the issue of lifelong extension of their units and compliance with the obligations under it. Conventions on these plants are being monitored, “the letter said, adding that the parties to the Espu Convention were also sent permanent missions to the UN office and other international organizations in Geneva; Espu Convention National Focal Point and Stakeholder.

The Bureau added that for the protection of the people and the environment in Ukraine and the region as a whole, it is therefore extremely important to preserve this process and guarantee full compliance with the obligations arising from the Convention. “This is a matter of utmost importance, not only under the ESPO Convention, but also under public international law and customary law,” the letter said.

The Bureau emphasizes the importance of ensuring that the structure and proper operation and conditions of operation of nuclear power plants in Ukraine are properly considered, maintained and operated in accordance with the objectives of the Convention, including the establishment of a no-war zone. Possible technical advice and independent supervision from appropriate international agencies.

In addition, the Bureau stressed that it must ensure that all obligations under the ESPU Convention have been complied with and cannot be suspended due to war.

As a party to the Espoo Convention, and since 2017, as part of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Protocol, Ukraine has successfully aligned its laws with these international environmental treaties and built the capacity for their effective implementation. The Bureau also welcomed the desire and efforts to implement the Convention on the Lifetime Expansion of Relevant Nuclear Power Plants in Ukraine. It emphasizes the importance of guaranteeing full compliance of nuclear power plants with the Convention in all circumstances – an obligation addressed to all those who control nuclear power plants and those who are legally responsible for them.

The Bureau wishes that the above will be duly considered and the appropriate forums and relevant authorities will be contacted, as appropriate.

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