Russia’s state-owned atomic energy corporation Rosatom has significantly increased nuclear fuel and equipment deliveries to ‘friendly’ countries, the company’s Director General Aleksey Likhachev told President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
“We maintained and even slightly increased supplies to all our (recipient) countries, but deliveries to friendly states are growing especially noticeably. These are Asian countries, particularly China, as well as the Middle East and Africa,” Likhachev said.
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He added that the company saw “up to 60-70% growth in various types of NFC-related supplies there,” referring to the nuclear fuel cycle for power plants – from uranium mining to disposal of radioactive waste.
Putin noted that despite the Western pressure, client countries “are behaving responsibly, because changing a supplier is technologically very difficult.”
The Rosatom chief agreed, noting that states friendly to Moscow are under “enormous pressure” both politically and economically.
Likhachev also told the president that Rosatom does not see “special prospects for growth in the European market… not only because there is an unfriendly attitude towards us, but because there is simply no growth potential there,” he explained.
Nuclear power is not covered by EU sanctions against Moscow, and despite a strong push from some of the bloc’s member states and the European Commission to target Rosatom executives, the efforts have failed due to strong opposition from Hungary and to a lesser extent France. Hungarian authorities have been seeking the expansion of the crucial Rosatom-built Paks nuclear power plant and have repeatedly warned they would oppose any attempts to impose restrictions on Russia’s nuclear sector.