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Slovakia and France sign Cooperation Pact on use of nuclear energy

Slovakia and France signed an Agreement on Cooperation in the Development of the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy in Paris, officials said on September 17.

Slovakia and France signed an Agreement on Cooperation in the Development of the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy in Paris, officials said on September 17.

The conclusion of a strategic partnership between the two countries was the chief purpose of a foreign business trip by Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and Foreign Minister Ján Kubiš to Paris, where they signed the relevant documents including an Action Plan and Political Declaration documents with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the TASR newswire wrote.

Under the deal, France will be Slovakia's strategic partner in the construction of a new reactor unit at the Jaslovské Bohunice nuclear power plant (Trnava region), Fico stated after a working lunch. Before any investment goes into the nuclear energy industry, safety must be provided for. In the case of Bohunice, Slovakia is keen to have the state-of-the art reactor that is also the safest, and they are working with France in this respect, Fico said. By the end of this year, a tender procedure will be called for the construction of a reactor at Bohunice.

"I have allowed the economy minister to move back that deadline to avoid any scandals if the tender is not carried out before December 31, 2008," he noted.

Fico also stated that French companies will be building other types of power plants in Slovakia.

"The French will, in all likelihood, build a coal-fired power plant near Nováky (Trenčín region)," said Fico.

In other issues, Fico and Sarkozy discussed current international issues such as in Lebanon, Georgia and other topics of interest to Europe as well as bilateral military cooperation.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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