MINSK, June 2 (RIA Novosti) - Belarus has asked Russia for a $9 billion loan for the construction of the ex-Soviet republic's first nuclear power plant, a Belarusian government official said on Tuesday.
"A letter signed by Belarusian Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky has been sent to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin with a request to consider extending a $9 billion loan for the construction of the nuclear power plant and the creation of the required industrial, transport and housing infrastructure," said Nikolai Grusha, head of the nuclear energy department at the Belarusian Energy Ministry.
Grusha said Belarus had selected Russia without holding a tender as the Russian side had pledged a loan for the construction of the plant.
He also said that estimates for the construction were based on the overseas experience of Russian nuclear power plant construction company Atomstroyexport, according to which the contractor financed 85% of construction works and the client 15%.
However, considering that Russia and Belarus were in the process of creating a single Union State, Russia is prepared to fully finance the nuclear power plant construction with the loan, Grusha said.
Belarus plans to build the plant in the Grodno region in western Belarus, with the first reactor expected to be put into service in 2016 and the second in 2018.