MOSCOW, February 19 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and Jordan’s King Abdullah II will meet in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss bilateral economic cooperation, including the proposed Russian participation in a project to build Jordan’s first nuclear power plant, the Kremlin said.
According to the Russian government, Russian-Jordanian trade grew 22% in 2012 to $426.5 million. Russian exports, mainly oil products, steel and grain, dominate bilateral trade.
“The talks will focus on expanding bilateral trade…and the implementation of large-scale joint projects,” the Kremlin’s press service said in a statement on Monday.
“The heads of state will discuss the possibility of Russian participation in the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the Kingdom of Jordan, as well as infrastructural development and mining,” the statement said.
Jordan first announced plans to build its own nuclear capacity and exploit the country’s uranium resources in 2008. Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom is on a short list of potential contractors for the NPP project.
The Fukushima disaster led to a clear commitment from the Jordanian Atomic Energy Commission that any reactor built must meet current Western standards of safety and would undergo a full safety assessment by an experienced and credible independent safety regulatory body.
In May 2012 the Jordanian Parliament voted to suspend the NPP program and the uranium exploration effort pending the completion of economic feasibility and environmental impact assessments.
Meanwhile, Rosatom provided 12 Jordanian nuclear physicists with scholarships to study in Russia.
Jordan currently relies on fossil fuels, but imports 97 percent of its energy needs from neighboring countries.