German residents have been ordered to be prepared for nuclear emergencies amid the diplomatic fallout with Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.
Germany's President of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection warned on Wednesday that the country's residents needed to be prepared against dangerous radioactive particles left in the air and water after a nuclear explosion or leakage at a nuclear power plant.
In an interview with the newspapers of the Funke media group, Inge Paulini said the ongoing military conflict between Moscow and Kiev had “made it clear to the general public that we have to be and remain prepared for a wide variety of nuclear emergencies,"
The head of the country’s radiation protection office warned that the conflict in Ukraine could cause a wide range of disasters in neighboring countries and the Germans must prepared for nuclear emergencies.
Radiation does not stop at the borders and we need to be ready, she insisted.
Paulini criticized Germany’s neighbors who have not phased out nuclear energy from their power grid. “On the contrary, many of our neighboring countries are planning new power plants,” she said, warning of the risks of accidents at these facilities, which could affect all of Europe.
In this regard, Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned European leaders that Ukraine's attacks on Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant could result in an environmental catastrophe.
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In the meantime, Russia has repeatedly given the Europeans assurance that it does not intend to use its nuclear arsenal to achieve its objectives in Ukraine.
The Kremlin has referred to its nuclear doctrine which only allows the use of nuclear weapons in a retaliatory fashion or in the case the country is faced with an existential threat from conventional warfare.
In addition, the Kremlin has stated that the Russian forces have so far succeeded in making significant progress towards “demilitarizing” Ukraine, one of the main objectives declared by Russia when Moscow launched its military campaign earlier this year.
“It can be stated that there is significant progress towards demilitarization,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week while addressing a news briefing.
The spokesman’s remarks came on the heels of comments by Putin, who noted that Ukraine’s defense potential had dropped close to zero.
Upon the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine in February, Putin declared that Moscow’s objective was to demilitarize the pro-Russia regions in the eastern parts of the country.
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