Potential threat to Latvia from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is minimal - State Environmental Service

  • 2023-07-05
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The potential threat to Latvia from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP) is minimal, as it is located more than 1,000 kilometer from the Latvian border and the NPP reactors are currently not operating, the State Environmental Service's (VDD) Radiation Safety Center wrote on its Twitter account today.

The statement comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky informed French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call on Tuesday that Moscow is planning dangerous provocations at the Zaporizhzhia NPP occupied by Russian troops.

The VVD Radiation Safety Center stresses that it continuously monitors radiation levels throughout the territory of Latvia and that the population has no reason to worry at the moment.

On Twitter, Janis Sarts, Director of the NATO Centre of Excellence for Strategic Communications, acknowledged that the public rhetoric on the safety of the Zaporizhzhia NPP is escalating. "Hopefully everything will remain at the level of info space, but we have to follow the events", said Sarts, adding that the immediate threat to Latvia is small.

The AFP news agency reports that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that Russia was planning "dangerous provocations" at the Moscow-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Fears over the safety risks for the nuclear plant have persisted throughout Russia's invasion.

"I warned Emmanuel Macron that the occupation troops are preparing dangerous provocations at the Zaporizhzhia plant," Zelensky said in a statement after a phone call with his French counterpart.

"We agreed to keep the situation under maximum control together with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)," he added.

In his evening address, Zelensky said Russia had "installed objects similar to explosives" on the plant, according to Ukrainian intelligence.

"Perhaps to simulate the hit on the plant. Maybe they have some other scenario. But in any case, the world sees it," the Ukrainian leader said.

"Radiation is a threat to everyone in the world."

The claim about the explosives was earlier made by the Ukrainian army, which warned of the "possible preparation of a provocation on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia power plant in the near future".

It claimed that "external objects similar to explosive devices were placed on the outer roof of the third and fourth reactors" at the site.

"Their detonation should not damage power units, but may create a picture of shelling from the Ukrainian side," it said, alleging that Moscow would "misinform on this".