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    RUSSIA'S NUCLEAR POWER MINISTER PUTS OFF TRIP TO IRAN-FOR TECHNICAL REASONS, HE SAYS

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 12, RIA NOVOSTI - Alexander Rumyantsev, Russia's Minister of Nuclear Power Industry, had scheduled a visit to Iran for February 15 into 18. The event has been postponed now-for technical reasons, the minister said in a Novosti interview.

    There are no politics whatsoever behind the suspension. The Parties merely have not settled certain issues related to a bilateral treaty to be signed. It concerns restoration to Russia of spent nuclear fuel from the Bushehr nuclear power plant Russian experts are building on the Iranian coast of the Gulf. In particular, there are differences on pricing the fuel Iran will be purchasing, explained Mr. Rumyantsev.

    The Parties made the visit schedule early last month. Russia hoped TVEL Co. and its partners would have signed all necessary papers by mid-February. Price disputes thwarted the signing, however.

    Despite all that, the minister hopes the Parties will sign all papers within two weeks-that is, before the month's end. There will be no more obstacles to the visit then, he reassured.

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