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It's Not Just Gas and Coal, Ukraine Depends on Russian Nuclear Fuel Too

For all the high-pitched rhetoric of Russian aggression Ukraine just contracted for Russian nuclear fuel deliveries for 2015

This article originally appeared at The BRICS Post

Russian state media reports on Friday said Russia has signed a contract with Ukraine to deliver nuclear fuel for the country’s nuclear energy plants for 2015.

The new contract reiterates Ukraine’s energy dependence on its powerful neighbour.

“A contract for 2015 has been signed to deliver fuel for Ukraine’s nuclear energy facilities,” Sergei Kirienko, Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom’s head said.

Concerns about the disruption of Russian gas supply to Europe through Ukraine has highlighted the issue of energy security.

Former Belgian lawmaker Lode Vanoost says some compromise is in the making that will at least pull the Ukraine conflict through the coming winter.

“The US has never liked what they conceive as too much EU dependence on Russian gas. What they want instead is EU energy dependence from them (and in the meantime big contracts for American shale gas). 

It is too farfetched to state that this was the main or primary reason behind US support for the coup in Kiev instigated by the Maidan massacre, but for Washington it certainly is a nice side-effect of the conflict,” he writes for The BRICS Post.

Kirill Komarov, a Rosatom official, had earlier in September said nuclear energy should be left out of any political decisions such as sanctions.

Russia’s nuclear fuel company TVEL supplied about $100 million worth of nuclear fuel to Ukraine in July 2014, its parent company, Rosatom, said in August.

According to Ukraine’s State Fiscal Service, nuclear fuel imports from Russia increased by 61.3% in physical terms to 231 tonnes from 143.2 tonnes in 2013.

During their gas talks at the end of October, Russia, the EU and Ukraine agreed on resumption of Russian gas supplies to Ukrainian consumers, on guarantees of gas transit to the EU and partial repayment of Kiev’s gas debts.

Gazprom on June 16 switched Naftogaz to prepayment for gas supplies because Kiev failed to pay part of its gas debt by the final deadline.

Ukraine-Russia relations are at an all-time low following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Ukraine has also alleged the Kremlin’s backing of pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukraine conflict in which over 4,000 have been killed.

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