Russia Mulls Building Syria Nuclear Power Plant

Medvedev Plays Up Prospect of Nuclear Cooperation

In the clearest indications yet that Russia may help Syria to construct some semblance of a viable civilian nuclear program, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko today said Russia was “studying” a proposal to construct a nuclear power plant in Syria.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has been in Syria discussing increased economic ties, and while oil and gas played a major role Medvedev said nuclear cooperation could also “get a second wind” from the talks.

Syria is a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and the IAEA has approved aid to Syria to help select a potential site for the civilian reactor.

But the US and other Western nations have angrily demanded that Syria “prove” that a building Israel destroyed in a 2007 attack in the Syrian desert was not part of a nuclear weapons program, and Israel has repeatedly threatened a full scale invasion of Syria to oust the Assad government. This makes Russia’s move potentially controversial, though no proof of wrongdoing has ever been presented.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.