Kyiv approaches EU Commission over rumored expanded Rosatom collaboration in Europe
Photo: Denys Shmyhal/telegram

Ukraine has contacted European Commission officials to raise concerns about possible expansion of cooperation in nuclear energy between Europe and Russia, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced.

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The move comes after the European Commission gave the green light in late May for Rosatom, Russia's state nuclear energy corporation, to further participate in completing Hungary's only nuclear power plant in Paks.

"Rosatom is part of the Putin regime, supports his terrorist actions and endangers nuclear facilities. We expect that the preliminary decision on the implementation by Rosatom of the project to build nuclear reactors in Hungary will be revised," the prime minister said at the session devoted to Ukraine within the framework of the meeting of the OECD Council at the ministerial level.

He added that against the background of the disaster at the Kakhovka HPP and the occupation of the Zaporizhzhya NPP, such steps come across as surreal.

"Sanctions against Russia should be strengthened, in particular in areas such as nuclear energy. We should do everything to render "business as usual" with a terrorist state impossible and ensure it does not support the Russian military machine," Shmyhal asserted.

Documents on the construction of two new power units of the Paks NPP (Paks-2) were signed by Rosatom and the Hungarian MVM at the end of 2014, but the project was delayed due to the long procedure of obtaining approval from the European Commission.

In August 2022, Hungary granted Rosatom a license to build the Paks-2 NPP, despite the fact that the company is involved in the seizure of the Zaporizhzhya NPP in occupied Enerhodar. The Russians are planning to build two VVER-1200 power units of the third generation, doubling the capacity of the nuclear facility in Paks.

This project is one of the reasons why Hungary actively opposes sanctions against Russia's nuclear sector.

Ukraine has repeatedly asked the European Union to impose sanctions on Rosatom, but Hungary blocks them.

Paks NPP was built according to the Soviet project and has four VVER-440 reactors with a total capacity of 2,000 MW. The power units were launched in 1983–1987, and their operational life ends between 2032 and 2037.
In February 2023, the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Germany of an attempt on the country's sovereignty by blocking the supply of Siemens Energy products for the completion of Paks-2.
In April 2023, it became known that France supports the Rosatom project in Hungary. Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto confirmed the participation of the French company Framatome in the Paks-2 NPP expansion project.