Russian atomic energy minister Viktor Mikhailov arrived in Havana February 18 to begin five days of talks aimed at resuscitating a $750 million deal to complete a nuclear power plant begun by the Soviet Union in 1976. Construction of the plant, located in Juragua, came to a halt in 1992 against a background of worsening relations between Russia and Cuba and a shortage of funds. A subsequent agreement on the plant was reached during a visit to Cuba last October by Russian first deputy prime minister Oleg Soskovets, but a continuing inability to raise funds precluded any progress. According to a spokesman for the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry, a plan to form an international consortium to secure funding failed because of U.S. opposition to the project. The official said that Moscow and Havana are now considering an option by which Cuba would pay Russia for completion of the plant with deliveries of sugar. The plant, which is to house two VVER-440 light-water reactors, is described as 90 percent completed. (5)
Official Reconfirms $10 Billion in Iraqi-Russian Deals.