News / Europe

    NATO Experts Advise Ukraine on Nuclear Plant Safety

    FILE - A nuclear reactor is seen at a nuclear research facility in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 23, 2012.
    FILE - A nuclear reactor is seen at a nuclear research facility in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 23, 2012.
    Reuters
    NATO experts have visited Ukraine to advise authorities there on improving the safety of nuclear power plants, gas pipelines and other critical infrastructure amid growing violence and fears of conflict with Russia, officials said on Wednesday.
     
    Ukraine's Ambassador to NATO, Ihor Dolhov, said the NATO civilian experts had visited Ukraine last month to assess critical infrastructure such as nuclear plants, pumping stations for gas pipelines and hydro-electric plants.
     
    “In any country, in any situation, there are plans and additional measures to protect infrastucture objects, including in Ukraine. So the purpose was to evaluate the performance of measures which are being implemented in Ukraine to protect such objects,” Dolhov told Reuters.
     
    Another objective was to make sure the installations would be safe in the event of an emergency, he said.
     
    A NATO official confirmed that a small team of civilian experts from the alliance visited Kyiv last month “to advise the Ukrainian authorities on their national civil contingency plans and safety measures in the context of possible threats to critical energy infrastructure.”
     
    The NATO team, sent in response to a request from the Ukrainian government, later delivered a confidential report with recommendations to Ukrainian authorities, who were evaluating it, the official said.
     
    Ukraine is a major transit route for Russian gas to the European Union.
     
    Ukraine, scene of the world's worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl in 1986, has 15 nuclear power reactors in operation, accounting for nearly 44 percent of its electricity production in 2013, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
     
    Destabilization
     
    Asked if the study was carried out because of Kyiv's fears of Russian intervention in Ukraine, Dolhov said one reason was “possible destabilization” in an area where strategic infrastructure was located.
     
    Ukraine told the U.N. atomic watchdog in March it was reinforcing the protection of its nuclear power plants because of “a grave threat to the security” of the country posed by the Russian military.
     
    A rebellion in the east has raised the prospect that Ukraine, a country of around 45 million people the size of France, could be carved up or even descend into civil war.
     
    Ukraine is not a member of NATO and the alliance has said it will not get involved militarily in Ukraine. But Ukraine and NATO have increased cooperation and Ukraine has asked NATO members for non-lethal equipment such as uniforms.
     
    Dolhov said in a telephone interview he expected the first shipments of this non-lethal aid to be delivered in coming days.
     
    Dolhov also said Ukrainian authorities had information that Russian President Vladimir Putin planned to attend a parade in the Crimean port of Sebastopol on May 9 marking the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, something Dolhov said would be a provocation and a cynical move.
     
    He said the shooting down by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine of two Ukrainian helicopters, using what the country's Defense Ministry said were shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles, was evidence of Russian involvement.
     
    “For me, it is clear. Otherwise it is difficult to explain how so-called protesters could get such kind of weapons. It's not from the shop,” he said.
     
    “I am sure that agents of special services of Russia are present on the territory of Ukraine,” he added.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora