Ukraine has raised some $782 million for the completion of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant shelter project during an international conference dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the disaster, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said on Tuesday.
"Jointly with our international partners we've managed to raise, and this figure is so far preliminary, 550 million euros [$782 million]," Yanukovych said after the conference.
An explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 resulted in highly radioactive fallout in the atmosphere over an extensive area. A 30-kilometer (19-mile) exclusion zone was introduced following the accident.
Vast areas, mainly in the three then-Soviet republics of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, were contaminated by the fallout from the major nuclear meltdown. Some 200,000 people were relocated after the disaster.
Over the last 16 years, Ukraine has consistently been trying to raise funds to build a new shelter over the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl and make the area environmentally safe. The total amount needed to implement the entire project is approximately $2.2 billion. About half of this has been raised so far.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said that $41.3 million would be allocated from the national budget to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund in 2011. By 2014, this amount will increase to $104 million, he added.
Russia will donate $63.9 million to the fund in 2011-2012, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov said.
The United States will allocate an additional $123 million to the Chernobyl fund, the head of the U.S. delegation at the conference, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said.
German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen said his country would donate $60.2 million.
KIEV, April 19 (RIA Novosti)