Greenpeace urged French energy firms EDF and Orano on Tuesday to drop their nuclear ties with Russia in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
The environmental activist group said EDF has contractual links to Russian state-owned firm Rosatom in several areas including fuels, construction and operation of reactors.
Orano has deals related to radioactive waste and reprocessing uranium, according to Greenpeace.
“We give you formal notice to cease as soon as possible all business and commercial relations in the nuclear sector contributing to the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Russian state,” Greenpeace said in letters to the two companies.
Greenpeace activists held a protest in front of EDF’s headquarters in Paris, deploying a banner reading “Nuclear: Stop Russian contracts”.
Russia’s energy sector has been spared from European sanctions against Moscow over the February 24 invasion.
But Greenpeace said France’s trade code includes “vigilance measures” that require companies to prevent violations of human rights or affecting the environment.
The war and Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian nuclear power plants, “with the complicity of Rosatom, violate all the rules of safety and nuclear security at international, European and national level”, the NGO said.
EDF and Orano are “complicit” in these violations by maintaining their links, Greenpeace.
A spokesman for Orano said the company strictly follows the sanctions applied by French and European authorities.
“We can only regret the cynicism of Greenpeace which instrumentalises the tragedy that the Ukrainian people are going through to promote their anti-nuclear ideology,” the spokesman said.
An EDF spokeswoman declined to comment on Greenpeace’s letter but said the group may take decisions about its activities “depending on the evolution of the situation and apply measures taken by the authorities”.
She noted that none of the sanctions adopted so far prevents EDF from operating normally.