The International Nuclear Energy Agency (IAEA) held a meeting with Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy agency (Rosatom) on 1 April 2022, in the Russian city of Kaliningrad amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
The meeting was attended by Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev and Director General of the IAEA Rafael Mariano Grossi. Grossi arrived in Kaliningrad after his visit to Ukraine.
Following the meeting, Alexey Likhachev stated that the key topic of the talks was the issue of ensuring nuclear and physical security.
“The main task of Rosatom is to do everything necessary and assist the IAEA in the safe operation of Ukrainian nuclear facilities.
“It is important to do everything to ensure that the IAEA has full information about the ongoing events and of course to enable specialists and maintenance personnel of the stations to perform their duties in the most difficult conditions. We exchanged views and outlined further ways of cooperation and operational interactions,” Likhachev said.
“As a result of these talks, I want to emphasize the highest professionalism of the agency, its head and the entire delegation involved in this work, as well as a balanced and, most importantly, depoliticized approach to the events, an exceptional concentration of attention and efforts on nuclear safety issues. Security, security and security – these were the three topics we focused on in our negotiations in recent hours,” the Rosatom head stressed.
In turn, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi thanked Likhachev for prompt cooperation and partnership.
“Yesterday, I arrived in Kaliningrad to continue what has been a constant process of consultation and exchange with the Russian Federation and in particular with the director general of Rosatom about the situation.
“There is one concept, which is very important, that apart from our responsibilities, the Russian Federation on one hand, Ukraine on the other hand, and IAEA as international global nuclear institution, we all have a common interest, a common responsibility in ensuring that the present difficult circumstances we are going through are in no way aggravated by the eventuality of a nuclear accident.
“This requires enormous zeal, professionalism and a clear professional focus at what is at stake. I can say that I have had a very understanding ear on Mr Likhachev’s presence here,” he highlighted.
“There are important missions that IAEA is going to be conducting in the next few days. Our intention is to continue to strengthen this cooperation, this joint work (with Russia) in order to ensure that we do not have any regrettable events related to the facilities in Ukraine, which are many and diverse in their configuration, in their importance, in the amount of nuclear materials that we have there.
“So this requires a lot of work. (…) I leave Kaliningrad with a sense of renewed commitment and dedication to continue working and I am sure we will continue to be in touch working together in the next few days,” Grossi said.
Commenting on the safety of the Ukrainian nuclear facilities the IAEA head said that, in general, the situation was under control but there were things that needed to be improved and the work should continue.
During the meeting Likhachev reaffirmed Russian commitment to key security principles and readiness to provide comprehensive support to the IAEA. The parties agreed to stay in constant contact.
In the photo: IAEA officials and Rosatom executives at a meeting in Kaliningrad, Russia, last Friday.