South Caucasus will live under the threat of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant until 2026
The nuclear security summit that finished yesterday in Washington was the last in this format, from now on the leading role of coordinating the international efforts in nuclear safety belongs to the IAEA. A few interesting statements were voiced at the summit concerning nuclear safety. Thus, according to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, given the threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear materials and the geographical location of Azerbaijan, the prevention of possible use of the country for the illicit traffic of nuclear materials is very important for Baku. "Working closely with our international partners, we have created a comprehensive national export control system based on a solid legal basis, the relevant international standards. To date, our national export control system has proved itself to be a reliable mechanism in preventing the illegal transportation of nuclear materials. However, because of an inability to control the whole of our territory, we cannot fully implement the program,’’ Ilham Aliyev said.
He noted that today 20% of Azerbaijani territory is under Armenian occupation. "The occupation has continued for more than 20 years. In addition, part of our internationally recognized borders is under the occupation. The UN Security Council adopted four resolutions, demanding the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from our occupied territories. But these resolutions remain on paper. I repeat, these resolutions demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from our territory. However, the occupation of our land has been going on for more than 20 years. Unfortunately, Armenia constantly sets conditions for the liberation of the occupied territories. We will continue the efforts for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. However, the conflict should be resolved on the basis of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,’’ the President of Azerbaijan said.
He drew the attention of the participants of the summit to the question associated with the operation of the obsolete nuclear power plant built in Armenia in 1976: "This station is located in a seismically active region with a deficit of water for cooling of the obsolete reactors. This poses a direct threat to the region. Instead of taking the power station out of service, Armenia plans to operate it until 2026. This means that the whole region, including Armenia itself, will live under its threat for the next ten years. I would like to draw the attention of the international community to this issue, so that can pressure Armenia to suspend the activities of the power plant and compliance with the expected international public order and procedures."