Double blow. After oil sanctions, restrictions hit Rosatom

February 21, 2023

How to overcome Russia's nuclear blackmail — important steps.

The Russian Federation signed (on September 14, 2005) and ratified (on January 29, 2007) the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism of April 13, 2005 (hereinafter — the Convention), which states: "the activities of military forces of States are governed by rules of international law outside of the framework of this Convention and that the exclusion of certain actions from the coverage of this Convention does not condone or make lawful otherwise unlawful acts, or preclude prosecution under other laws."

In this context, it is worth mentioning two norms of the international law that expressly prohibit the use of the armed forces of any state to attack and seize nuclear power plants.

  1. Paragraph one of Article 56 of the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, which concerns the protection of victims of international armed conflicts, reads: "Works or installations containing dangerous forces, namely dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations, shall not be made the object of attack, even where these objects are military objectives, if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population."
  2. The General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) during its eleventh plenary meeting approved (on September 18, 2009) Decision GC (53)/DEC/13: "Prohibition of armed attack or threat of attack against nuclear installations, during operation or under construction" . Violation of this decision by any state is classified as a violation of the principles of the United Nations, its Charter, the international law and the Agency's Charter.

Thus, the UN and the IAEA have every reason to open an investigation into Russia's actions at Ukraine's nuclear facilities, as well as to expel the aggressor state from the Agency.

This demand should be added to the proposed measures No. 8 of the International Working Group on Russian Sanctions of November 10, 2022.


Maksym Bielawski

Leading Expert, Energy Programmes

Born in 1986 in Zhytomyr oblast


Zhytomyr State Technological University (2008)

Ph.D in Technical Science (2010)

Ivano-Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas (2012)

Author of 17 patents and 100 scientific works

Work Experience:

2008 – 2011 — Operator of Gas Infrastructure Units, Controller of Gas Transmission System in Rivne Division of PJSC "Ukrtransgas"

2011 – 2017 — Leading Engineer, Deputy Head of Press-Service, Head of Public Relation Department of PJSC "Ukrtransgas"

2017 – 2018 — HR Director of PJSC "Maine Gas Pipelines of Ukraine", Advisor to the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine

2021 — Director of Integrated Communications of NJSC "Naftogaz of Ukraine"