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Nuclear aid from Moscow takes shape

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Tin Ponlok, left, says Russia will help develop the centre’s software and training courses. Supplied

Russia has announced a wide range of measures to help establish an information center in Phnom Penh as part of Cambodia’s development of nuclear energy.
The two countries agreed to set up the center during Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Russia at the Russian-Asean summit last year.
At that time, the prime minister said Cambodia had no ambitions to use nuclear energy but the kingdom now plans to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Tin Ponlok, secretary-general of the National Council for Sustainable Development, said yesterday the nuclear information center would be based at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia on Russian Boulevard.
He said Russia would send staff to provide technological assistance, as well as helping to develop the center’s software system and training courses for Cambodian officials.
It would also fund three scholarships, one master’s degree and two bachelor’s degrees, for Cambodian students in the field of nuclear physics.
“This is the first time that Russia has granted this kind of assistance for Cambodian students,” said Mr. Ponlok. “At this stage we hope the center will develop our knowledge and attract students to understand and learn more about nuclear science.”
A Russian technical working group will be in Cambodia this week to discuss and draft an intergovernmental agreement related to nuclear power development.
“We will draft an agreement for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” said Mr. Ponlok.
Foreign Ministry secretary of state Ouch Borith said last month that Cambodia and Russia would sign an agreement on the peaceful use of atomic energy later this year in Moscow.
Mr. Borith said Cambodia and Russia would sign seven different agreements this year, including one on how to use atomic energy for peaceful purposes.
“Cambodia and Russia will be ready to sign the agreements during the 10th session of the Cambodia-Russia intergovernmental commission, which will take place in Moscow in July or August,” he said.
Cambodia and Russia first established diplomatic links in 1956. The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries almost doubled in the 12 years between 2002 and 2014 and is still on the rise.

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