In light of the Ukraine conflict, the European Commission has hastened plans to improve the bloc’s incident response mechanisms
A sign of radioactive danger at the entrance to the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. © Sputnik / Viktor Drachev
As the conflict in Ukraine continues to rage, the European Commission has urged EU member states to stockpile iodine pills, other designated drugs, and nuclear-protective suits. It is also stepping up preparations for dealing with the aftermath of a possible chemical or biological attack.
“The commission is working to ensure it enhances preparedness in the area of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats generally, and this predates the war in Ukraine,” a spokesman told the Financial Times on Monday.
Russia put its nuclear weapons on high alert a few days after launching its military operation in Ukraine in late February, citing what it described as the “aggressive statements” made by NATO and the draconian financial sanctions imposed by the West.
In early March, there was a fire at Ukraine’s Zaporozhskaya nuclear power plant, which has been seized by Russian forces. The blaze was swiftly extinguished, with the International Atomic Energy Agency saying there had been “no critical impact on safety” at the plant.
A few days later, Moscow announced it had prevented an attempt by what it called Ukrainian radicals to cut power to the former Chernobyl nuclear power station, which became the site of the world’s most devastating nuclear disaster in 1986.