Ukraine and the US have signed an agreement on co-operation in the field of nuclear energy that is set to lead to the disbursement of $30 million of US financial aid to help Ukraine introduce Western technology into its nuclear fuel cycle. The deal, which still needs to be approved by the Ukrainian parliament and the US Congress, was signed by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Boris Tarasyuk and the US ambassador to Ukraine, Steven Pifer. The agreement is seen as a “reward” for Ukraine’s refusal to sell turbines to Iran.

Tarasyuk said the agreement would promote the implementation of large-scale projects, attract investment into the creation of Ukraine’ s own nuclear fuel cycle and boost imports of technology. It would also give Ukraine “greater opportunities for designing, building and operating nuclear reactors and for expanding the range of sources supplying nuclear fuel to Ukraine”. Pifer said the accord “opened up new prospects for cooperation in phasing out old nuclear equipment, which is important in view of Ukraine’ s pledge to close down the Chernobyl nuclear power station.”