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US prevents Russia from building nuclear power plant in Türkiye

US prevents Russia from building nuclear power plant in Türkiye Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Funds transferred by the corporation Rosatom to Türkiye for constructing the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, the largest Russian-Turkish investment project, are subject to arrest, according to the head of the state corporation Alexey Likhachev.

"The settlement system is under attack. They are arresting the money," he said.

According to Likhachev, the arrest of funds is the responsibility of "the Americans," who go between legal entities and banks working with Rosatom.

The nuclear power plant project in Türkiye is valued at $25 billion and is fully funded by Russia. Likhachev admitted that sanctions hinder its implementation.

Although Rosatom is not subject to Western restrictions, several of the corporation's subsidiaries are on the sanctions list. In particular, this includes JSC Atomstroy, which develops nuclear installation technologies, as well as the Vladimir Production Association Tochmash, which produces centrifuges for uranium enrichment.

Likhachev said that despite the sanctions and difficulties, Rosatom continues the construction of the nuclear power plant, which is to be Türkiye's first and will supply electricity to 12 million consumers.

Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant project

The intergovernmental agreement between Türkiye and Russia for the construction and operation of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant was signed in 2010. In the same year, then-President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev ratified the agreement.

In 2023, the first of four power units of the plant was ceremonially opened. Its launch is planned for this year. The design capacity of the nuclear power plant is expected to meet 10% of Türkiye's electricity needs.

Following Akkuyu, the Turkish authorities plan to build three more nuclear power plants and are also considering the purchase of small modular reactors.

In addition to Rosatom, the Turkish Ministry of Energy is negotiating with American contractors, as well as with companies from China and South Korea, a high-ranking official of the ministry told Reuters.