Russia, China to sign deal on nuclear civilian cooperation

May 23rd, 2008 - 8:02 pm ICT by admin  

Moscow, May 23 (DPA) Russia is to sign a billion dollar deal with China to cooperate in building a civilian nuclear facility, the head of Russia’s atomic energy agency Rosatom said Friday. “I will not cite the worth of the total contract, but it is well over one billion dollars,” Rosatom chief Sergei Kiryenko was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying from Beijing.

Kiryenko is part of a heavy-weight delegation accompany Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on his first foreign policy trip since taking office this month aimed at strengthening military and energy relations.

“This is already the fourth round in negotiations to build the uranium enrichment plant,” said Kiryenko, adding that the agreement provides for deliveries of Russian uranium over the next 10 years.

Kiryenko noted that negotiations were still in the initial phase, but hailed the talks as a sign of “the strengthening of Russian companies’ presence on the Chinese market.”

Russia has made a profit from exporting atomic energy expertise since the fall of the Soviet Union, but has run into international criticism over its construction of Iran’s first nuclear power plant, which the US believes covers ambitions to make nuclear weapons.

China and Russia, who both hold a veto on the UN Security Council, have taken a common stance on the problem of Iran’s nuclear programme among other international issues in an effort to promote a multi-polar world view as a balance against the US as their economic weight grows.

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