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Russia still thinking about proposals to change Belarusian nuclear power plant loan terms

Economy 24.05.2019 | 20:18
The Belarusian nuclear power plant. An archive photo
The Belarusian nuclear power plant. An archive photo

MINSK, 24 May (BelTA) – The Russian side is still thinking about Belarus' proposals on adjusting the terms of the loan granted by Russia to build the Belarusian nuclear power plant, BelTA learned from Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Igor Lyashenko.

The official said: “We've suggested the Russian side should consider improving terms of the loan, reducing the interest rate. The proposals are being discussed at a high level.”

Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas held negotiations with Director General of the Russian state nuclear industry corporation Aleksei Likhachev in Minsk in May. According to Igor Lyashenko, the sides discussed key aspects concerning the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

Speaking about plans to commission the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in late 2019, Igor Lyashenko noted: “For now we are on the schedule the Russian side has previously specified.”

When asked about negotiations with Russia on the natural gas price for Belarus, Igor Lyashenko explained the matter will be discussed “in a slightly different format – within the framework of the package principle.” He did not go into details of the negotiations and did not clarify what the package principle is.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast using a Russian design featuring two VVER-1200 reactors with the total output capacity of 2,400MW. The intergovernmental agreement on borrowing up to $10 billion from Russia to build the Belarusian nuclear power plant was signed on 25 November 2011. The money is supposed to cover 90% of the work specified by the general contract on building the nuclear power plant. The Belarusian side is supposed to pay the remaining 10%.

In 2019 Belarus pays $127 per 1,000m3 of Russian natural gas. According to previous agreements, by 1 July 2019 the sides are supposed to come to terms on the price for Russian gas for Belarus in 2020-2024.

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