Russia, Belarus may sign deal on nuclear power joint venture

Belarus and Russia were negotiating the creation of a joint venture that would sell electricity generated by Belarus' future nuclear power plant, Belorussian Ambassador to Russia Alexandr Surikov said on Thursday.

"We have information that Belarus has been negotiating the creation of a joint venture for selling electricity. The details still need to be polished but everything will be okay," Surikov was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying.

Belarus plans to complete the construction of the nuclear power plant by 2016-2018, which will be conducted by a Russian company on a Russian loan upon a Russian project.

Earlier this month, Belorussian Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said that Minsk was not going to set up a joint company to serve a future nuclear plant. President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus also hinted that Minsk might cancel the entire joint project if Moscow would press too hard regarding the terms of the loan.

The controversy surfaced after Russia refused to finance the plant's infrastructure while Belarus insisted Russia should pay for all the construction related to th nuclear plant.

Later in August, Belorussian Prime Minister Semashko said the deal might be signed by the end of September.


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