Russia’s nuclear power is one continent closer to the world ‘s creation. This week, the parliament of Rwanda voted to construct a brand-new nuclear power plant and the nuclear reactor in the capital of central Africa, Kigali, for the Russian state-owned nuclear conglomerate, Rosatom.
The latest step in decades of aggressive lobbying by the Russian Government and more especially Rosatom is to persuade African countries to work with Russia for benefit or influence on the African continent. This hard-won progress represents the last step in decades.
Earlier this week, German media company DW News reported about the nuclear centre Kigali, ‘The Nuclear Science and Technology Center is expected to be completed by 2024, which will include nuclear engineering workshops which small engineering reactor up to 10 MW.’ ‘The Rosatom arrangement is similar in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia and the least comprehensive cooperation arrangements are less robust in countries such as Ghana, Uganda, Sudan and the DRC.’
Since the implementation of Western Sanctions in 2014, Russia’s assertive push into Africa increased markedly. In reaction to what they considered the illegal invasion of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine, Moscow had to look for allies and trading relations around the world after Canada, the European Union and the United States had placed sanctions on Russia.
According to Ovigwe Eguegu of the Afripolitik geopolitics analyst DW News, “To ensure Russia continues to have a major role if Putin is to be influential in Russia. That is why he looks at the African nations so that more parties to partners have with him in international affairs.”
Although the attempts of Russia to win African nations have increased since the early years of the 2000s, the Soviet Union had a tradition of alliances with the mainland, but many, if not more, have fallen aside after the collapse of the USSR. “Whilst Russia’s trade surplus with Africa was one-tenth that of China during the cold war, the Soviet Union had good relations with many African countries and it needs to find other ways in which the content will gain ground.”
When nuclear power is declining and out of fashion in the west, China and Russia both were developing their nuclear energy sectors. In fact, the US, the biggest nuclear producer in the world, is about to be overtaken, contributing a sizeable third of the world’s nuclear power production. China is on its way to having France as the world’s second nuclear power plant by 2022 and then just four years later to demoralize the US. Meanwhile, there are justifiable fears in the United States that the COVID-19 economic crisis would continue even in the domestic nuclear power industry.
Although Russia’s nuclear push into Africa is major news for global geopolitics, some gruesome news in the world of Russian nuclear energy this week has been completely overshadowed. European leaders are raising their alarms this week with a significant rise in radiation rates in Europe, and in Scandinavia in particular. While many pointed their finger at Russia and a possible leak in the nuclear reactor, Russia denied these claims unilaterally. Already some analysts are also wondering whether the exposure was actually the result of a Russian weapons drill. In any case, the nation with the ‘world’s largest foreign-controlled nuclear corporation’ and its rapidly growing reach is definitely alarming news. Although many of Rosatom ‘s efforts in Africa have yet to be noticed, they certainly will have a lasting effect around the world.
Data Source: oilprice