Serbia Will Get Russia’s Help in Building Nuclear Plant: Official

Russia is ready to become Serbia’s partner in building a nuclear power plant if the Balkan country’s leadership decides to launch a national nuclear energy program, First Deputy Head of the Russian Government Office Sergey Prikhodko told reporters ahead of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s official visit to Serbia.

“With regard to building a nuclear power station in Serbia, everything will depend on the position of the Serbian side in this matter. There are legislative restrictions to the development of nuclear energy in Serbia. If the Serbian leadership decides to launch a national atomic energy program in the future, Russia will be ready to become Serbia’s partner in this strategic project,” Prikhodko said.

According to the official, Russia is also ready to participate in a project to launch a Center for Nuclear Science, Technology and Innovation. The parties are preparing for signing of the corresponding intergovernmental agreement, which provides a plan to launch the project.

“The Russian side is ready to start the implementation of the project of the Center for Nuclear Science, Technology and Innovation. This is important given the real needs of Serbia in the scientific and technological products of the center, primarily isotopes for medicine, industry and agriculture. There are all conditions for this. The intergovernmental agreement provides specific order of steps to launch this project. Preparatory work to coordinate the configuration and determine location has already begun, in a few months we plan to sign the general contract,” Prikhodko said.

Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has nuclear cooperation deals with dozens of developing countries. These agreements are not contracts to sell Russian-design nuclear reactors. They can be a first step toward such a deal, but often talks go on for years with little progress.