Moscow, Dec 16, Itar-Tass/ACSNA/IRNA -- Russia and Iran will not sign an agreement on the return of spent nuclear fuel from the Bushehr nuclear power plant till the end of this year, Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said.
Rumyantsev told Itar-Tass on Monday Moscow declines to clarify Tehran's intention to sign the agreement so that Iranian specialists could concentrate on joining the additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The minister said, "There is no need to hurry up in order to sign the agreement on the return of spent nuclear fuel." He explained that fuel supplies to the Bushehr nuclear power plant are planned for the year 2004.
Rumyantsev described Iran's intention to sign the additional protocol as "very positive and important."
"The signing of the additional protocol will facilitate the full implementation of our contract on Bushehr," the minister said.
At the same time, the minister noted that Russia and Iran are not holding talks on a possibility of expanding nuclear cooperation. "The second unit (in the Bushehr nuclear power plant) was not in the focus of our talks," he added.
On December 10, the Iranian government instructed the Foreign Ministry to sign the additional protocol to the NPT.
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