Chinese envoy expresses concern over destruction of Kakhovka Dam in Ukraine

Zhang Jun

7th June 2023 – (United Nations) China’s permanent representative to the United NationsZhang Jun, has expressed grave concern over the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam in southern Ukraine. The collapse of the dam has caused flooding, and many people are in urgent need of evacuation while tens of thousands of people may face difficulties accessing drinking water. The reservoir formed by the dam is also a major source of cooling water for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Zhang called on all parties to the conflict to abide by international humanitarian law and do their utmost to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure.

While noting that the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that the dam’s destruction has not posed any safety risk to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Zhang warned that the continued receding of water in the reservoir may make it impossible to continue pumping water to the plant in the future. He called for maximum restraint and efforts to maintain the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, reiterating that in the event of a nuclear disaster, no one can stay immune.

Zhang also expressed concern about the protraction or further escalation of the crisis in Ukraine and called for all parties to exercise restraint and resume peace talks as soon as possible. He urged the international community to create favourable conditions for dialogue and negotiations and for the restoration of peace, warning that the flames of war, if allowed to rage on, will only bring about greater suffering and more disasters. China will continue to stand on the side of peace and make unremitting efforts to promote peace talks and achieve a political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, Zhang said.