Czech Republic Bars Rosatom from Nuclear Plant Tender
The Czech Republic government has barred Russia's nuclear giant Rosatom from a multi billion euro tender to build a new unit at a local nuclear plant last week because of the diplomatic row with Moscow. Eighteen Russian diplomats identified by Czech intelligence as spies left Prague for Moscow, while 20 Czech diplomats were expelled by Russia in retaliation. Czech Industry and Trade Minister Mr Karel Havlicek told reporters "The Russian supplier Rosatom will not be addressed to submit documents for security assessment."
The decision to bar the Russian state atomic agency follows tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats after Prague accused Russian secret services of being behind a fatal explosion on Czech territory in 2014. Citing an intelligence report, the Czech government has said Russia's military secret service GRU orchestrated a 2014 explosion that killed two people, followed by a smaller one the same year. Prime Minister Andrej Babis said the 2014 explosion at an ammunition depot near the eastern village of Vrbetice was not an act of state terrorism as it targeted goods owned by a Bulgarian arms dealer. He told "He probably sold these arms to entities fighting against Russia. But there's no way we could tolerate GRU agents carrying out such operations here.”
The decision leaves France's EdF, South Korea's KHNP and US based Westinghouse in play for a contract to build the new unit at the southern Dukovany plant by 2036.