Russia wiring billions of dollars to Turkey for nuclear plant project - Bloomberg

Russian state-run nuclear power giant Rosatom Corp. is transferring money to a subsidiary that’s building  Turkey’s first nuclear plant in a bid to alleviate concerns that war sanctions could stall the project, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

Last week, the company sent around $5 billion to the Turkey-based Akkuyu Nuclear JSC, it said, citing senior Turkish officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Two other similar dollar transfers are scheduled for this week and next, the officials told Bloomberg.

Russia’s Rosatom began building the $20 billion Akkuyu project on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast in April 2018. Turkey hopes the plant,  which has come under criticism over environmental concerns and the country’s increasing reliance on Russia, will be completed when it marks its centennial in 2023. 

Bloomberg in April reported that Western sanctions on Russia imposed for the invasion of Ukraine that began in February were snagging construction of a $20 billion nuclear power plant in Turkey and that Ankara and Moscow had discussed potential problems such as acquiring equipment that must be secured from third countries by Rosatom.

Although the construction site is the largest of its kind worldwide, “current transactions are significantly lower” than the figure provided by the Turkish officials, Bloomberg cited Rosatom as saying in a statement.

Financing arrangements for the project are private, according to Rosatom, which declined to provide Bloomberg with further details.

Bloomberg was not able to receive a comment from the Akkuyu Nuclear JSC representative or Turkey’s Ministry of Treasury and Finance on the matter.

The Turkish officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the financing of the project would cover all procurement needs for the Akkuyu project over the next two years.

The dollars transfers are a goodwill gesture by Russia’s Vladimir Putin for his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s role in a landmark deal that’s expected to unlock grain exports out of Ukraine, one official said.

Erdoğan and Putin are due to hold talks in Sochi on Aug. 5.

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