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Concerns for Vattenfall's Russian energy deal

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Concerns for Vattenfall's Russian energy deal
14:40 CEST+02:00
State-owned Swedish energy giant Vattenfall has come under fire for its decision to buy Russian nuclear fuels despite the wishes of the EU to minimize the dependency on Russian energy.

The news comes as Vattenfall gets set to receive test samples of a new kind of nuclear fuel from Russian energy company Rosatom, reported the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

The fuel is to be tested at the Ringhals nuclear power plant in western Sweden and delivery can begin as early as 2020 if the results are promising, according to Torbjörn Wahlborg, head of Vattenfall's nuclear power division.

The news has not been well-received around Sweden.

"We think there is a strong security policy aspect to all this, and it appears Vattenfall has not taken this into account," Peter Hultqvist, chairman of the Parliamentary Defense Committee, told the TT news agency.

He added that he would be putting the matter to Sweden's Defence Minister Karin Enström, to ascertain whether she considered the developments to be "reasonable".

"There are examples of when energy has been used as a leverage. We saw this, for example, in Ukraine a number of years ago," he added.

Rosatom has export licenses for five EU countries, Bulgaria, Finland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, and as far as China and India, an export worth an annual $3 billion, wrote TT.

The company has been behind the construction of ten nuclear reactors in Russia alone, with a further 19 planned for outside the country's borders, including in Iran.

The EU, meanwhile, is aiming to decrease the dependence on gas and oil from Russia.

"Russia uses energy politics as an instrument for foreign and safety policy," Jakob Hedenskog, researcher at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut - FOI), told SvD.

TT/The Local/og

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