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European Commission rejects reports of blocking Hungary-Russia nuclear plant project

March 13, 2015, 14:48 UTC+3
Rosatom on Friday said the project of building new reactors for the Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary was originally approved by the European Commission and the Hungarian government
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© EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

BRUSSELS, March 13. /TASS/. The European Commission has rejected media reports that it blocked the Russia-Hungary nuclear power plant project, EC spokesperson Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said on Friday.

"You asked whether the European Commission is blocking the project. No, we’re not blocking the Paks construction," she said at a press conference in Brussels in reply to a journalists’ question.

Russian civilian nuclear power corporation Rosatom on Friday said the project of building new reactors for the Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary was originally approved by the European Commission and the Hungarian government.

"We have nothing to add to the position of Hungarian government representatives who are demanding that The Financial Times retract its information," a Rosatom spokesman said.

"We have the same data: the Paks NPP expansion was at the start approved by the European Commission and the Hungarian authorities," he added.

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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