On the occasion of theinstallation of the New Safe Confinement above Unit 4 of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini, the Vice-President for Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič, the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica and the Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete issued the following statement:
Today marks a major milestone on the long road of efforts undertaken by Ukraine and the international community to make the Chornobyl site environmentally safe again. It also reminds us - 30 years after the nuclear accident the consequences of which are still affecting the people of Ukraine, Belarus and neighbouring countries - that nuclear safety was and remains a very serious matter that deserves our continuous international attention and action to prevent any further disasters.
This new confinement is an unprecedented work of engineering funded by the Chornobyl Shelter Fund, which is managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on behalf of the international donors.
The European Union is the largest donor to this fund and has committed so far around €750 million to Chornobyl-related projects. Our work has also focused on socio-economic actions to improve the living conditions of the first victims of the 1986 catastrophe, who are still affected by the consequences of their significant exposure to radioactivity.
The European Union is committed to further improve nuclear safety worldwide and will continue to work with Ukraine, the EBRD, G7 countries and other international donors to ensure that projects in Chornobyl and in the areas affected by the accident are brought to a successful conclusion.