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19 December 2022, 17:56

Russia to continue Belarusian nuclear power plant project even to its own detriment

Cooling towers of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. An archive photo
Cooling towers of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. An archive photo

MINSK, 19 December (BelTA) – Russia is ready to continue the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction project and help create a nuclear energy industry in Belarus. President of Russia Vladimir Putin made the statement as he met with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko in Minsk on 19 December, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Putin noted that Belarus and Russia are working hard virtually in all areas, including power engineering. “Aleksandr Grigoryevich [Lukashenko] and I noted that Russia continues implementing the nuclear project even to its own detriment. We are building the nuclear power plant, the first unit is operational, it substitutes about 4.5 billion m3 of natural gas,” the Russian president said. He explained why Russia is doing it somewhat to its own detriment: “We could supply natural gas instead. But now this power plant works and generates electricity that corresponds to the 4.5 billion m3 of natural gas that Gazprom could sell to Belarus but doesn't.”

Vladimir Putin stressed: “We are ready to continue developing this project, to continue working and building [nuclear power plant] units. In my opinion, the most important thing is that we are ready to create the [nuclear energy] industry and we are doing it. We are ready to train the national workforce and develop the appropriate science. We have the relevant preliminary agreements already. We are ready to discuss and act.”

The Russian president also spoke about cooperation in finance and space exploration. Speaking about defense technology cooperation, he pointed out: “It is not limited to mutual shipments. It includes joint work, R&D, and manufacturing cooperation in this sphere. It is extremely important, in my opinion. Including cooperation to develop high-tech branches of the manufacturing sector.”

Speaking about the negotiation agenda, Vladimir Putin said: “Today we have to sum up what government agencies and the governments as a whole have accomplished. We will look at what needs to be done in the near future.”

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