The economic sanctions the USA and the European Union have imposed on Russia are not impacting the work of the state nuclear corporation Rosatom, its director-general Alexey Likhachov told delegates at the World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi earlier this week.
According to TASS news agency, Likhachov said that "officially, neither Rosatom companies nor its employees are included on any sanctions list, but we feel the restrictions imposed both by Washington and Brussels on our contacts".
Likhachev noted that sanctions had damaged the development of nuclear energy in countries that adhere to sanctions, adding however that Rosatom can cope with the sanctions.
Speaking about the overall economic impact of sanctions, Likhachev said that, in his opinion, restrictions had harmed world trade.
"I believe that sanctions have caused serious harm to world trade, not only Russian, but in general any sanctions taken in circumvention of the UN's official procedures are harmful to trade - they give rise to instability, they give birth to conflicts and do not promote the exchange of goods and services, nor technological development," he said.
The value of Rosatom's foreign order book is approaching $300 billion, Likhachev said, adding these include orders for the construction of 34 nuclear power units in 12 countries. By the end of this year Rosatom expects its overseas portfolio to be worth about $137.3 billion over the next 10 years. Likhachev stressed that the construction of nuclear power plants helps overcome energy poverty.
"The main activity is concentrated on those regions where the problems of energy poverty are the most urgent," he said.
He also said Rosatom not only works on nuclear power plant construction, but also on the development and improvement of the safety of nuclear technologies. As an example, he cited work on fast neutron reactors and thermonuclear fusion both in international projects and in Russia.
Nuclear technologies used for water purification and in agriculture are also among Rosatom's activities. It is also working to expand the nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet, he added.