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Future of Russia-ASEAN Nuclear Cooperation

28.11.2014

MOSCOW, NOVEMBER 28, 2014. PIR PRESS – “Russia needs to develop a comprehensive strategy of presence in Southeast Asia. Nuclear cooperation serves as one of the most optimal directions in which to focus on the economic benefits and on the solution of strategic problems and security issues.  This area of cooperation between Russia and countries of the region may contribute not only to solving the energy issue, but in the long term could become a lever for the development of constructive cooperation in other spheres,” – Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations in the School of Regional and International Studies of the Far East Federal University, Ivan Zolotukhin.

The ASEAN Summit took place on November 12-13, 2014 in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar. In addition to the ten Southeast Asian states, heads of states and governments of Australia, India, PRC, the Republic of Korea, and Japan also participated.  Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev headed the Russian delegation.  Russia is not the largest foreign trade partner of the ASEAN countries, however, in his article for the Security Index journal, Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations in the School of Regional and International Studies of the Far East Federal University (FEFU), Ivan Zolotukhin indicates the significant potential for development of cooperation with the region in nuclear energy.

According to forecasts by the Asian Development Bank, by 2035 the energy consumption in the Asia-Pacific countries will increase by 67% and will account for over half of the total energy consumption on the planet. In Ivan Zolotukhin’s opinion, the serious energy shortage, which Southeast Asian countries will experience, can be eliminated through the use of atomic energy.  Russia has   significant strategic potential and, with nuclear technologies, which, combined with high-quality, intellectual developments in the nuclear field, attracts the attention of potential partners among the countries interested in the development of the peaceful atom.

According to Ivan Zolotukhin, “Russia needs to develop a comprehensive strategy of presence in Southeast Asia. Nuclear cooperation serves as one of the most optimal directions in which to focus on the economic benefits and on the solution of strategic problems and security issues.  This area of cooperation between Russia and countries of the region may contribute not only to solving the energy issue, but in the long term could become a lever for the development of constructive cooperation in other spheres.”

The expert notes the significant role that Far Eastern Research-and-Education Center for Nuclear Technology, Radiation and Environmental Safety created on the bases of  FEFU by Rosatom in 2012 plays for the promotion of Russian nuclear technology. The Center’s basic educational blocks include the following areas: 1) the supply of nuclear reactors and the preparation of plant operators, nuclear physicists and radio chemists; 2) irradiation technology; 3) nuclear medicine; 4) disassembly, utilization of nuclear facilities (NPP, landfills, burial sites), use of sorbents, output of nucleotides; 5) the project of a laboratory of ocean ecology under the aegis of the IAEA, in which the spread of air and water pollutants is monitored online.   

The article, “Russia and Southeast Asia: Towards Nuclear Partnership” was published in the third issue of the Security Index journal, №3 (110), Fall 2014, and is available on the PIR Center site (in Russian).

Within the project, “Prospects for Russian-ASEAN Cooperation in Strategic Spheres,” PIR Center studies Southeast Asia. An article written by Olga Skorokhodova entitled, “Myanmar Mania and Lessons for Russia,” (in Russian) was published the Security Index journal, №2 (109), Summer 2014.

For more detailed information on publications, subscriptions to the Security Index journal and advertising within the publication please call: +7 (495) 987 1915, or send a fax to: +7 (495) 987 1914.

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