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Russia hopes nuclear cooperation with Hungary will not be affected — Russian EU ambassador

March 16, 2015, 10:40 UTC+3
Both Hungary and European Commission denied the information distributed by the media about suspending the construction of two new power units at Paks
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© ITAR-TASS/Yevgeny Kurskov

MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Russia hopes that cooperation with Hungary in the nuclear sphere will not be affected by Budapest’s disagreements with the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said on Monday.

"This story has a taste of sheer provocation because both Hungary and European Commission denied the information distributed by the media about suspending the construction of two new power units at Paks [nuclear power plant]," Chizhov said.

"This story is a result of media’s unscrupulous work," the diplomat noted. Chizhov added that he will meet with the editor-in-chief of The Financial Times in the next few days and raise this issue at the meeting.

The Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources that the European Commission had supported the nuclear watchdog Euroatom’s rejection of Hungary’s plans "to import nuclear fuel exclusively from Russia."

"The decision, details of which were kept secret, came at a meeting in Brussels last week of all 28 EU commissioners, including Hungary’s Tibor Navracsics," The Financial Times reported, adding the ruling blocked "the whole Paks II expansion."

Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs has said the ongoing approvals under the Russian-Hungarian nuclear project are in no way blocking the project and have not affected the agreement on investment that came into force on January 1, 2015.

Russia and Hungary signed documents in January 2014 on building new power units on the site of Hungary’s sole Paks NPP that had been constructed by Soviet specialists.

Immediately after the deal was signed, attempts were made in Europe to block it, including an active campaign in the leading European media that accused Budapest of increasing its energy dependence on Russia.

However, Hungarian government spokesman for the Paks NPP project Attila Aszodi told TASS news agency that the NPP contract between Russia and Hungary had been approved by the European Commission and had not encountered any critical remarks since 2013.

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