Finland Takes Steps to Strengthen Nuclear Energy Ties with Russia


Dec. 9, 2014 (TMR Blog)- Finland is taking steps towards strengthening its energy ties with neighboring Russia, after the former’s parliament gave the nod of approval for nuclear plant plans to be supplied by Rosatom, Russian state owned company. This step comes despite the mounting tensions between the East-West in the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis.

The parliament saw 115 parliamentarians in support of the decision, while 74 voted against it. This vote comes despite the recent call by the European Union asking its members to cut back on any energy-related deals with Russia. Following this step by the EU, Russia responded by deciding to send more gas to Turkey (a non-EU member) and cancelling a plan to construct a natural gas pipeline to Bulgaria, which is a member of the EU.

The Fennovoima nuclear reactor, located in Finland’s northern side, will be fuelled by Rosatom, and it is expected that output at this plant will begin in 2024. Financing for the Fennovoima reactor will also be arranged by Rosatom, as per the deal. According to economy minister of Finland, this wasn’t the “best time” to make this decision if the current international political scenario is taken into consideration. He said, however, that it was imperative for the Finnish parliament to make decisions when they did come to their table. He also stressed that this latest project would not be carried out in violation of the sanctions that have been imposed by the EU on Russia.

The project is valued at approximately US$8.7 billion, and had won backing way back in 2010. However, the project ran into a rough patch with several investors deciding to back out of the project. Last year, the project got back on track with Rosatom agreeing to pick up a stake in the project provided it was allowed to supply the nuclear reactor.

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