EU Commission President
Ursula von der Leyen
EU Energy Commissioner
EU Parliament, MPs
US Department of State
Government of Germany
Government of Japan
Government of the UK
Government of Belgium
Government of Portugal
Government of Denmark
Government of the Netherlands
Government of Czech Republic
Government of Lithuania
Government of Luxembourg
Open letter to the European and American officials, politicians and the public regarding the need to impose sanctions on the Russian nuclear industry in the context of the war in Ukraine
First of all, we sincerely thank you for Your comprehensive support of and assistance to Ukraine in its fight against the Russian aggressor and defense of our common European values and freedom of Europe at such a high cost to every Ukrainian.
We, as representatives of the civil society of Ukraine and Europe, are deeply concerned that one of the key items of the billions of dollars of export revenues of the Russian budget generated by trading nuclear equipment and technologies with the EU and the US is still being used to wage this bloody war against the people of Ukraine. Moreover, Russia’s export revenues from the nuclear industry and nuclear fuel sales increased significantly in 2022, amid the global energy crisis provoked by Russia’s aggression.
Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Russia has sold more than $1.7 billion worth of nuclear fuel to companies from Europe and the United States. Last year, Rosatom received almost $1 billion (€912 million) for nuclear fuel sold abroad alone. In addition, last year, there were significant revenues from the construction of new nuclear power plants, as Rosatom-related companies are currently building 33 new nuclear reactors in 10 countries. According to the British Royal United Services Institute, in 2022, russia exported at least $2.2 billion worth of nuclear-related goods.
We are concerned that the Russian aggressor is using international sanctions loopholes regarding its nuclear energy sector to replenish domestic foreign exchange reserves and finance the war against Ukrainian citizens at the expense of revenues from the sale of nuclear fuel to European countries and the United States, as well as utilizing nuclear technology to produce weapons that can be used anywhere in the world for no reason. Furthermore, companies associated with Rosatom have traditionally been used to circumvent international sanctions previously imposed on the aggressor in the financial and military-technological spheres. Rosatom supplies Western technologies to the Russian military industry to bypass sanctions, and related banks are used for money laundering. What is more, every Rosatom export project generates direct revenues for the Russian budget, which go to the Russian National Wealth Fund (RNWF). Russia also uses the export of nuclear energy technologies and the construction of nuclear power plants in other countries to strengthen its geopolitical influence.
Analysts from Greenpeace also emphasize that due to the absence of sanctions, European innovative technologies of Framatome and Siemens Energy are supplied to support Russian economic and geopolitical interests.
Understanding that the aggressor continues to use international nuclear cooperation primarily to increase the dependence of certain European countries on Russian nuclear fuel supplies and further blackmail them politically through the construction of new nuclear power plants, we call for comprehensive sanctions on Russian nuclear companies affiliated with Rosatom and related entities, in support of the sanctions imposed on 5 February 2023 by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi.
The use of nuclear energy for geopolitical blackmail of other countries should have become a ground for international sanctions against Russia long ago.
We are convinced that increased international sanctions pressure on Russia’s nuclear industry will also lead to a long-term reduction in the use of dangerous nuclear technologies associated with the extraction and enrichment of radioactive substances such as uranium and plutonium in the world.
We emphasize that the imposition of sanctions on the Russian nuclear industry has been successfully blocked by Moscow’s lobbyists in Europe and the United States, while it is Rosatom that has been involved in the occupation and use of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant with gross violations of Ukrainian law and international nuclear safety rules since the first days of the full-scale invasion in February 2022. For the second year in a row, Rosatom and the Russian army have been jointly blackmailing the civilized world with a new nuclear disaster at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which is now under Rosatom’s control and has already been put into a dangerous mode of operation dozens of times due to safety violations.
We call on you to restrict the purchasing of Russian nuclear fuel, which supports Russia’s economy during the war it has unleashed in Ukraine, and to impose sanctions on Russian companies and individuals involved in the construction, maintenance and operation of nuclear power plants. Tolerating Russia in this key area will result in even greater permissiveness of the aggressor and increase its geopolitical influence, which threatens the security and stability of Europe and the whole world.
1. NGO Ecoclub
2. NGO Regional Center for Economic Research and Business Support
3. NGO Energy Agency “Alternative”
4. All-Ukrainian Sustainable Development and Investment Agency
5. NGO Hromadske Volyn
6. Energy Transition Coalition
7. NGO Ecoaction
8. NGO “Rivne social partnership center”
9. NGO Social Initiative “City of the Sun”
10. NGO “Agency of Journalistic Investigations “Fourth Estate”
11. NGO Pravopolice
12. NGO Khmelnytskyi Energy Cluster
13. Rivne oblast organization of the All-Ukrainian NGO “Civil Network “OPORA”
14. NGO Razom We Stand
15. NGO Community Action Initiative
16. NGO Investigative agency
17. NGO Association of relatives of political prisoners of the Kremlin
18. ZMINA Human Rights Center