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AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

29.09.2014

Russia in Global Nuclear Energy Market (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

Within the context of the recent 58th IAEA General Conference held in Vienna it is worth making an overview of Russia’s position in this important and sophisticated global industry.
Civil nuclear energy is fascinating, promising and complicated. In the right hands it is able to bring power to remote parts of the world, move huge icebreakers, and cure people. It is also an important source of energy security in terms of achieving sustainable development and mitigation of climate change. But in certain circumstances using such technologies can become dangerous and risky. That is why the Russian atomic industry and “Rosatom” pay so much attention to openness, transparency, security and international cooperation in this field, including under the auspices of the IAEA.
Russia’s nuclear power industry is one of the oldest in the world. This year the Obninsk nuclear power station outside Moscow, the world’s first ever to be built and connected to the grid, celebrated its 60th anniversary (it was decommissioned a few years ago to serve as a scientific and educational centre). Russia continues to invest heavily into research and development, which is essential for further evolutionary and innovative improvement of the relevant technologies. For instance, this year new types of high-purity radiation-resistant steel were developed and introduced for Russian “VVER”-type reactors. These materials provide for over 100 years of operation. Another example is our continued active participation in the “ITER” fusion project – a large international conference on this topic will be organized, together with the IAEA, this October in Saint-Petersburg, Russia.
The accumulated experience in successfully developing, building and operating nuclear power stations makes Russia one of the best-placed players in the atomic business internationally. Among our latest achievements this year are serious progress regarding projects in China, Belarus, India, Bangladesh and Hungary. Some new agreements were discussed and signed with Finland, South Africa, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Thailand and Argentina.
Despite current political tensions, Russia continues to act upon its agreements with Ukraine, providing its stations with nuclear fuel. Last year we have successfully fulfilled our obligations within the “Megatons to Megawatts Program” with 500 tons of Russian military-grade high-enriched uranium, enough for 20,000 warheads, converted into nuclear fuel, including for US power stations.
The UK is another important player in the global nuclear energy market. Its national civil nuclear industry is aimed at enhancing energy security and safety. But with British power plants ageing, successful involvement of international investors and companies is increasingly important. Russia could play a positive role in such diversification of suppliers, raising the level of competition. Last year DECC and Rolls Royce signed MOUs with “Rosatom” to examine the possible steps for mutually beneficial practical cooperation. Despite the current temporary interruption of this work, we remain optimistic that it could be carried on in the future in favourable political atmosphere.




LATEST EVENTS

29.11.2017 - Afghan opium production jumps to record level (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for RT)

According to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey released by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in 2017 opium production in Afghanistan increased by 87 per cent to a record level of 9,000 metric tons. The area under opium poppy cultivation also grew by 63 per cent to its highest level of 328,000 hectares. Afghanistan is the world's top cultivator of the poppy from which opium and heroin are produced. The 2017 record levels of opium production and poppy cultivation create multiple challenges for the country, its neighbours and many other countries that serve as a transit for or a destination of Afghan opiates. The significant levels of opium poppy cultivation and illicit trafficking of opiates fuel instability, insurgency and increase funding to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.


19.10.2017 - Why to fight with memorials (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The campaign in Poland against World War II memorials to Soviet officers and soldiers, who had liberated the country from the Nazi occupation, is gaining momentum. Warsaw has created a legal framework allowing the disposal of Soviet/Russian memorial objects or taking them out of public sight, including the most widespread monuments of gratitude to the Red Army. Why?


18.10.2017 - Syria: collective humanitarian efforts, not sanctions, are needed more than ever (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The situation in Syria is undergoing serious transformation. Due to the de-escalation process, it has now become possible to drastically reduce the level of violence, to improve the humanitarian situation as well as to fight terrorists more efficiently. The ISIS-controlled territory is shrinking. On 14-15 September, at the international meeting in Astana all four de-escalation zones were finalized.


05.10.2017 - What You Have to Know about Status of Crimea (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The coup d’état in Kiev in February 2014 backed by the West tore up the constitutional space in Ukraine. The legitimate President of the country was overthrown. It was marked by a severe lack of democracy and violence that posed a direct threat to the well-being of Russian-speaking population of Crimea. Citizens of Crimea faced the choice of becoming an oppressed minority or severing their ties with the hostile regime to secure a future for themselves and their children. The decision to hold a referendum was made by legitimate local authorities. The independence of Crimea was proclaimed and an appeal to enter the Russian Federation was made based on the indisputable results of the popular vote. Standards of international law were fully observed as the right of nations to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter was exercised freely by the Crimeans. Crimea was recognized as an independent and sovereign state by Russia and on 18 March 2014 in Moscow the two countries signed a Treaty of Unification, under which the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol became two new regions - subjects of the Russian Federation.


05.10.2017 - NATO increased military presence in Europe: road to nowhere (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

As part of the implementation of the conclusions of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, four multinational battlegroups have been deployed in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia with the total number of troops exceeding 4500. The idea of creating similar rotating units in Bulgaria and Romania in 2018 is being widely discussed by NATO members. If put together, these battlegroups amount to a motorized infantry brigade with heavy weapons.


30.09.2017 - Russia’s initiative on protecting SMM OSCE in South-East of Ukraine (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

On 5th September, at the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has announced an initiative to establish the United Nations Mission on Support in Protecting the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) OSCE in the South-East of Ukraine.


25.09.2017 - Eurasian Economic Union today (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Though hardly noticeable in the Western media, the Eurasian economic cooperation is booming, with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) becoming an increasingly effective integration project. The unique format of enhanced economic coordination along with the EAEU member states’ retained political sovereignty and cultural identity is proving itself.


25.09.2017 - On Russia's assistance to Central Asia (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Russia attaches great importance to the issue of sustainable development as it is underlined by the UN. Among our priorities in this area is the development of Central Asia. We contribute to the development of this region on a regular basis, regardless of the global economic crisis and its negative effect on Russia’s economy. In today’s world, international aid is often politically motivated and aimed at exerting one’s influence. Russia has a different approach.


25.09.2017 - IX BRICS Summit – turning into a global organisation (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, has emphasized the proximity of positions of the member states on the current global problems. It demonstrated that over the last 10 years BRICS has grown into a full-fledged international mechanism for global cooperation.


08.09.2017 - SCO sets standards for countering extremism (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

In June 2017, the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) signed the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism, which will help strengthen the international legal framework to address new challenges and threats as well as increase the effectiveness of cooperation between relevant authorities of the member states and to improve legislation in this area.



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