Kiev has blacklisted more than 200 entities for 50 years FILE PHOTO: the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant © Sputnik / Evgeny Biyatov

Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council has introduced sanctions against the Russian nuclear industry, President Vladimir Zelensky said in a statement on Sunday. The list of entities subjected to restrictions by Kiev includes Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom as well as a company operating the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) – Europe’s biggest nuclear power station.

Zelensky accused the Russian troops of shelling nuclear power stations in Ukraine and using them as “cover” for strikes.

“These are sufficient reasons for the Russian nuclear industry to be subjected to global sanctions,” he said. The president issued a decree on Sunday, which blacklisted a total of 200 entities for a period of 50 years.

The ZNPP once belonged to Ukraine but fell under Russian control in the spring of 2022. It is located in the Zaporozhye region, which formally joined Russia in autumn 2022 following a referendum, together with three other former Ukrainian territories, including the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson Region.

Ukraine storing weapons at nuclear plants – Russia Ukraine storing weapons at nuclear plants – Russia

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Ukraine storing weapons at nuclear plants – Russia

The plant had been repeatedly subjected to artillery shelling and suicide drone attacks over the past year as Moscow and Kiev traded blame over the incidents.

Moscow insists the damage to the facility is attributable to Kiev’s forces, while Ukraine has claimed that Russia, for unnamed reasons, has itself been targeting the site it controls. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has only established that attacks on the plant have been occurring but has demurred from assigning blame to any party.

Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine nearly a year ago, citing the need to protect the people of Donbass and Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014-15 Minsk peace accords. Ukraine has said the attack was entirely unprovoked. (RT)