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Russia to Build Nuclear Reactors in Uzbekistan

Vladimir Putin and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

Russia will help Uzbekistan build small-scale nuclear reactors as part of an agreement signed during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the Central Asian country, the state-run TASS news agency reported Monday.

Since 2018, Moscow and Tashkent have been in talks on building the first-ever nuclear power plant in Uzbekistan, which is the world’s fifth top supplier of uranium.

With an estimated price tag of around $13 billion, the project is expected to be financed mostly through a Russian loan.

“Today we’ll sign an important agreement on the implementation of projects for the construction of small modular reactors in Uzbekistan,” Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said during talks with Putin.

Russia has used the construction of nuclear power plants in countries like India and Turkey as a way to build regional influence and bolster ties with other emerging markets.

Uzbekistan generates most of its electric power using gas turbines, but it wants to use its large natural gas reserves more efficiently to extract more added value amid energy shortfall concerns.

Meanwhile, Russia and Uzbekistan agreed to increase trade to $30 billion as part of Putin’s visit to Tashkent this week, his third foreign trip since assuming his fifth presidential term.

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