Friday, February 10, 2006

Russia/Former USSR

Putin Welcomes Uzbekistan Into Nuclear Alliance
08 February 2006

JOURNAL OF TURKISH WEEKLY (MOSCOW) Russia strengthened its commitment to atomic energy on Wednesday, as President Vladimir Putin welcomed Uzbekistan into an emerging nuclear alliance. Known to have extensive uranium-ore reserves, Uzbekistan will give Russia "additional long-term possibilities for the building of a stable nuclear fuel energy base," Putin said at the Eurasian Economic Community summit in St. Petersburg, Interfax reported. His comments came just two weeks after Putin met with his Kazakh and Ukrainian counterparts to forge a nuclear energy alliance that could follow Soviet-era lines. "Russia is firmly determined to widen its cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Community in the field of global energy safety. One of the priorities here -- the development of collaboration in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy," Putin said. Uzbekistan's entry brings the number of EEC members to six.

Source Reliability: 8.5

Comment: Russia is working very hard to set up nuclear cooperation in central Asia. The Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and now Uzbekistan are all on board in a partnership. The committment to nuclear power should lessen the countries' reliance on Middle Eastern oil.

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