Will the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus exacerbate the country’s energy dependence on Russia? Cover Image

Will the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus exacerbate the country’s energy dependence on Russia?
Will the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus exacerbate the country’s energy dependence on Russia?

Author(s): Kamil Kłysiński, Marek Menkiszak
Subject(s): Energy and Environmental Studies, Environmental and Energy policy, International relations/trade
Published by: Ośrodek Studiów Wschodnich im. Marka Karpia
Keywords: nuclear power plant; Belarus; Russia
Summary/Abstract: During Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev’s working visit to Minsk on 18 July, Russia and Belarus signed a general contract for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus. The signature brought to an end the complex negotiations which had been underway since January 2009 involving the leadership in Minsk, the Russian government and Atomstroyexport, the Russian company that will be the main contractor of the investment.However, the power plant’s future ownership structure, management arrangements and terms and conditions of profit sharing remain unclear. The Belarusian leadership hopes that with the launch of the nuclear power plant, it will be able to reduce gas imports from Russia, gas being the main resource used in producing heat and electricity in Belarus. This should in turn reduce the costs of energy generation. In addition, Minsk expects that the new investment will allow it to export electricity surpluses to the European Union, including Poland. Agreements concerning the power plant have been concluded over the last year or so and, according to these, Russia has acquired partial control of the Belarusian electricity grid, especially with regard to the transmission of energy to foreign markets. Russia is also the sole creditor and contractor for the investment, and the sole future provider of nuclear fuel. Therefore, implementation of the project will exacerbate Minsk’s already significant dependence on Moscow in energy and political terms.

  • Page Count: 4
  • Publication Year: 2012
  • Language: English