Official statement from ROSATOM

Our comments in relation to the appearance of a video message on 25 March 2022 on Energoatom’s website featuring employees from JSC Atomspetstrans who are being held at the Rovno NPP are as follows.

A special shipment that was delivered to the Rovno NPP was accompanied by employees of one of the enterprises of the Russian nuclear industry, JSC Atomspetstrans, as stated in communication from the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to International Organizations in Vienna (INFCIRC/981) disseminated by the IAEA Secretariat on 23 March 2022.

Furthermore, Energoatom claims that “four armed guards arrived” at the Rovno NPP who “protected (the cargo) until it was unloaded and transferred to the Ukrainian side.”

As we have already informed the IAEA, the tasks of the Atomspetstrans employees were to operate a special purpose wagon and escort the cargo in transit, including transferring it to the customer and processing the transfer documents. Protecting the cargo did not form part of the employees’ duties.

Moreover, the agreement between the governments of the Russian Federation and Ukraine on cooperation in the field of transporting nuclear materials (Moscow, 12 April 1996) explicitly stipulates that “the protection of special cargoes is carried out on the territory of the Russian Federation by a Russian armed escort, and on the territory of Ukraine by a Ukrainian armed escort.”

Energoatom reports that “the cargo was unloaded (23 March 2022).” In this regard, we note that the wagon arrived at its destination on 23 February 2022. At the same time, the corresponding contract with the Rovno NPP states that unloading must be carried out within 21 days along with the registration of the wagon's return journey (i.e. by 16 March 2022).

As for Energoatom’s assertion that the Russian specialists “left the territory of the NPP accompanied by officers of Security Service of Ukraine who ensured their safety and transfer to the Russian side”, we are compelled to confirm that as of 25 March 2022, the Atomspetstrans employees were not handed over to the Russian side.

Finally, the most important point. On 25 March 2022, Energoatom posted a video on its Telegram channel which featured anti-Russian statements from each of our four employees. It is clear from even a quick view of the video material that our people are being coerced; they are obviously trying to recall some hastily memorised text. There are also clear signs of video editing.

Despite everything we have seen, we will not change our attitude towards our employees and will not leave them in distress. We demand that the Ukrainian authorities ensure the speedy and safe return of our employees to their homeland.

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