Swiss share Russian concern over nuclear in Ukraine

Swiss President and Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE Didier Burkhalter shared Russia’s concern over nuclear security due to US intention to supply nuclear fuel to Ukraine and urged Moscow to address the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“We share your opinion regarding the nuclear security problem. Nuclear security represents a key problem for the Swiss nuclear policy,” Burkhalter wrote in a letter to Vladimir Gutenev, first deputy chairman of Russia’s State Duma committee on industry.

In June, Gutenev sent Burkhalter a letter, warning him about the potential threat to the security of European countries in the case of man-made disasters at Ukraine’s nuclear power plants in light of the intention of the current Kiev authorities to sign an agreement on fuel supply from the United States.

The IAEA plans a diplomatic conference at the beginning of next year. The Swiss president reminded that his country had proposed to introduce changes to The Convention on Nuclear Safety and said he would welcome Russia’s help in the preparation of the conference of the IAEA, the keeper of the Convention.

He said, however, the specific issue of US supplies to Ukraine needed to be addressed by the Ukraine’s national security first.

Burkhalter added that the nuclear security was out of the authority of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, but could be reviewed by the IAEA board.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that Moscow must be informed of every attempt by Ukraine to use Western nuclear fuel in Soviet- and Russian-made reactors, referring to US company Westinghouse seeking to seize more contracts in Europe, including Ukraine.