March 21, 2009

Russia-Japan nuclear deal appears imminent

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Sobyanin said Saturday his country could soon sign an agreement with Japan over civilian nuclear power.

Sobyanin said Russian officials are hopeful a draft of the agreement will be prepared in time for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to Japan in May, RIA Novosti reported.

We plan to finish drafting the intergovernmental agreement in May by the time of the Russian prime minister's visit to Japan, so that this agreement could be signed during the visit, Sobyanin said.

Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russia's Rosatom Nuclear Energy State Corp., said the agreement would allow civilian nuclear power projects to move forward in the Asia-Pacific Region.

We are waiting for the intergovernmental agreement to be signed as a guarantor of observing the non-proliferation regime commitments, he said.

RIA Novosti said Rosatom and the Toshiba Corp. in Japan are considering a joint venture focused on uranium enrichment.