Moscow and Kiev will draw up by June a long-term contract on Russian deliveries of nuclear fuel to Ukraine, the head of the Russian presidential administration said Friday.
"Our relevant departments and enterprises have been instructed to draft by June 1 this year a long-term contract to supply nuclear fuel for Ukraine's nuclear power plants starting from 2011," Sergei Naryshkin said, adding that the contract's price will be known later.
Naryshkin said that when the two presidents meet in Kiev on May 17 their discussions will include "joint steps and contracts in the nuclear power industry sphere."
Ukraine's nuclear power utility Energoatom signed a contract in March 2008 with the U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric Company on fuel supplies for its nuclear power plants (NPPs) in 2011-2015, causing discontent on the part of neighboring Russia.
In 2005, Westinghouse supplied the Soviet-built South Ukraine plant with a set of fuel rod assemblies, which were used in the reactor core in conjunction with Russian fuel rods for a trial period.
The Russian and Ukrainian prime ministers met in the southern Russian resort of Sochi on April 30 and instructed officials to start developing nuclear cooperation initiatives. Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko earlier said that should a 25-year contract to supply Russian fuel to Ukrainian reactors be concluded, the overall discount for Ukraine could exceed $1 billion.
Ukraine has four nuclear power plants - Zaporozhye, South Ukraine, Rovno and Khmelnitskaya - with a total generating capacity of 13.835 GW, accounting for more than half of the country's electricity generation.
Russian corporation TVEL supplies nuclear fuel to Ukrainian nuclear parts as part of a long-term contract expiring in 2010.
In his first three months in office, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has made good on his campaign pledge to conduct a more friendly policy toward Russia than his predecessor, working swiftly to end the bitter disputes that arose under the Western-leaning Viktor Yushchenko.
MOSCOW, May 14 (RIA Novosti)