Putin wants renewal of soviet-era nuclear industry complex

Publish date: January 16, 2006

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in Astana, Kazakhstan, on 12 January after meeting with his Ukrainian and Kazakh counterparts that he wants to restore the kind of nuclear energy ties between the three states that existed under the USSR but based on market lines, "The Moscow Times" reported.

He called the prospects for nuclear cooperation with Ukraine “nothing but promising.” Sergei Kirienko, who heads the Federal Atomic Energy Agency, or RosAtom, said that he wants to “rebuild the Minsredmash complex,” meaning former Soviet ministry that dealt with nuclear power. He will present a plan for cooperation between Kazakhstan and RosAtom at the St. Petersburg summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on 25 January and then go to Kyiv for talks on cooperation with Ukraine. Russia inherited about 80 percent of the nuclear industry of the Soviet Union but has only about half of the uranium ore it needs to make fuel to power it. RosAtom wants to buy uranium from Kazakhstan, which seeks Russian money to finance new nuclear power stations.