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Russia, Egypt sign deal on nuclear cooperation

Russia and Egypt on Tuesday signed an agreement to cooperate in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, enabling Moscow to bid for construction of the Egypt's first atomic power station.

world Updated: Mar 25, 2008 20:52 IST

Russia and Egypt on Tuesday signed an agreement to cooperate in the peaceful use of nuclear energy which would enable Moscow to bid for construction of the Middle-East country's first atomic power station.

The inter-governmental agreement, signed by the head of Russia's Rosatom nuclear energy agency Sergei Kiriyenko and Egyptian Energy Minister Ahmad Hassan Younis, will allow Russia to bid in an international tender for a USD 1.5 billion reactor project on Egypt's Mediterranean coast, local media reports said.

Cairo is planning to build three or four atomic power plants in the country to meet rising energy demands.

The deal was signed in Novo-Ogoryovo near Moscow after summit talks between President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who is here on a three-day visit.

Putin and Mubarak discussed a whole range of bilateral, regional and international issues, including West Asia and the Iranian nuclear issue.

In his pre-visit interview to the Russian media, Mubarak underscored the need to resolve the vexed Iranian nuclear issue in context of Israel's nuclear weapons programme.

Earlier in the day Mubarak had a meeting with President-elect Dmitry Medvedev in the Kremlin to discuss cooperation in all spheres including in nuclear energy.

A senior Kremlin aide said that nuclear cooperation with Egypt would be strictly within the non-proliferation obligations of Russia.