Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced plans to establish a BRICS “energy association” that will include a fuel reserve bank and an energy policy institute. BRICS is a grouping of major emerging economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Fifty of the 66 nuclear reactors currently under construction are in BRICS states.
Russia signed a number of nuclear power cooperation agreements that coincided with Putin’s visit to South America. On 12 July, Rosatom director general Sergey Kiriyenko and Argentina’s minister of planning, investments and services, Julio Vido, signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy. Rosatom plans to participate in the tender in the third quarter for construction of the third unit at the Atucha nuclear power plant.
On 15 July, Rusatom Overseas chief executive Dzhomart Aliyev and Camargo Correa President Dalton Santos Avancini signed a memorandum of understanding with Brazilian Camargo Correa on building an additional spent fuel storage facility and a nuclear power station in Brazil.
The document envisages an expansion of bilateral cooperation in nuclear power, in particular, the construction of engineering and technical facilities at the Brazilian operational Angra nuclear power plant and partnership in the construction of new nuclear power units in Brazil.
On 16 July, Putin held talks with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on broadening their partnership in the energy and defence sectors. Modi has reportedly invited the Russian leader to visit the construction site of Kudankulam 2 during their annual summit in New Delhi, in December. The two countries signed a general framework agreement in April on units 3 and 4.
The key development of the BRICS summit was the launch the long-awaited New Development Bank and a Currency Reserve Pool. With combined resources of $200 billion, they are aimed at fostering greater financial and development cooperation among the five emerging markets.
With a stated capital of $100 billion, the bank – widely seen as an alternative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund – “will become one of the largest multilateral financial development institutions in the world,” Putin said. The group has also launched a Currency Reserve Pool, which Putin said “creates the prerequisites for effectively protecting our countries from financial market crises.”
“I am confident that closer economic and financial cooperation between BRICS countries will allow us to implement truly large-scale joint programs with the aims of securely developing our nations,” Putin said. BRICS is “acquiring a new quality,” he said.
The NDB is to be headquartered in Shanghai, China. Its first president will come from India, its inaugural chairman of the board of directors will be from Brazil and the inaugural chairman of the board of governors will be Russian.
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