NOVO-OGARYOVO, February 20 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and Jordan’s King Abdullah II met in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss bilateral cooperation in the trade, economic, military technology, investment, energy and humanitarian sectors, the Kremlin reported.
According to earlier reports, the two leaders were supposed to discuss in particular the proposed Russian participation in a project to build Jordan’s first nuclear power plant (NPP), but it was unclear from a statement on the meeting posted on the Kremlin’s website whether that particular topic was discussed and to what extent.
The Kremlin said earlier that “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.”
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.
“The heads of state also exchanged views on current issues on the international agenda, including the situation in Syria and the Middle East peace process,” the Kremlin said in a statement Tuesday.
Putin praised bilateral trade, and Abdullah II said the countries have a lot of interesting economic projects that may be discussed, adding that military and technological cooperation was developing well.
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.