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Russia and Uzbekistan Sign Agreement to Build Central Asia’s First Nuclear Power Plant

by Anna

Tashkent, Uzbekistan — On Monday, Russia and Uzbekistan signed a landmark accord for Moscow to construct a small nuclear power plant in the Central Asian nation. The agreement was finalized during talks in Tashkent between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

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President Mirziyoyev emphasized the project’s significance, stating it is “vital” given Uzbekistan’s substantial uranium reserves. President Putin assured that Russia would “do everything in order to work effectively on Uzbekistan’s (nuclear energy) market.”

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If executed, this project would be the first nuclear power plant in Central Asia, significantly enhancing Russia’s influence in the region. According to Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti, the state-owned energy corporation Rosatom plans to build six reactors with a combined capacity of 330 megawatts. Earlier discussions between the two countries had considered a larger plant with a capacity of 2.4 gigawatts.

In addition to the nuclear agreement, President Putin pledged to increase gas deliveries to Uzbekistan.

The meeting in Tashkent marks President Putin’s third international trip since beginning his fifth presidential term earlier this month. His travels included a visit to China, where he supported China’s proposals for peace talks to resolve the Ukraine conflict, and a trip to Belarus, where Russia has deployed tactical nuclear weapons.

These visits underline the Kremlin’s efforts to bolster alliances amid ongoing tensions with the West over the Ukraine conflict.

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