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Suspension of US cooperation with Rosatom ‘cosmetic sanctions’ – expert

April 03, 2014, 20:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The expert thinks American politicians have got enough sense not to leave half of the American nuclear power plants without fuel

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© ITAR-TASS/Donat Sorokin

MOSCOW, April 03. /ITAR-TASS/. The suspension of certain aspects of cooperation with Russia’s Rosatom nuclear energy corporation is “a new portion of cosmetic sanctions” on the part of the American leadership, Alexander Ignatyuk, Director of the Information and Analytical Department of the investment group Energocapital, said on Thursday, April 3.

In his opinion, “either American government officials are unaware of the real state of economic cooperation between the US and Russia or they have the overly complete picture of such cooperation and intentionally choose the measures that cannot affect real transactions”.

“Today we have seen a new portion of ‘cosmetic sanctions’ on the part of the American leadership. The only major contract between the US Department of Energy and Rosatom – HEU-LEU agreement – ended in 2013, while Rosatom’s current interests in the United States are determined by separate transactions with private companies, which have no relation to the American regulator,” the expert said.

Ignatyuk believes that if a new portion of sanction were directed against real contracts, the US government would not impose them for they would have too negative an impact on the American economy itself. “Aggressive American politicians have got enough sense not to leave half of the American nuclear power plants without fuel,” he added.

Rosatom said “all joint obligations under commercial contracts between Russian and American enterprises are implemented in full”.

The unilateral suspension of cooperation will affect only the contracts that were made under the inter-governmental agreement on scientific and technical cooperation in the field of peaceful use of atomic energy, which was signed in Vienna by Rosatom Head Sergei Kiriyenko and US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in September 2013.

Under the agreement the two countries were supposed to join efforts in developing new nuclear power technologies, ensuring safe handling of nuclear waste and non-energy use of nuclear technologies, including for medical purposes.

Rosatom said it considered the US decision “an erroneous step that runs counter to the constructive spirit [in relations] with the US Energy Department in recent years”.

“Nuclear power is a very subtle and serious matter. It requires a responsible and professional approach from all members of the international community. Politicisation is not appropriate here,” Rosatom said.

It stressed that “any attempt to bring unilateral restrictions into this area will affect those who initiate such steps in the first place”.

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