Economy 16:55 13/07/2022 Armenia

Roman Trotsenko's promise to help build new nuclear plant in Armenia 'up in the air'

No progress has been made in the negotiations on the construction of a new nuclear plant in Armenia, while Russian billionaire Roman Trotsenko, owner of the GeoProMining Gold LLC who announced plans to join its construction, seems to “have gone into hiding”, Pastinfo reports.

Nikol Pashinyan met with General Director of Rosatom Corporation Alexey Likhachev on Tuesday. According to a statement released by the prime minister’s office, the interlocutors discussed issues related to the further operation of the second power bloc of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (ANPP), the possibilities of building a new nuclear power plant in Armenia, the development of nuclear energy as well as the cooperation in the field of renewable energy.

Incidentally, earlier in 2021 Pashinyan said “negotiations” were underway over the construction of a new nuclear plant, thus attempting to “smooth over” the corruption scandal related to the Zangezur Copper Molybdenum Combine (ZCMC) transaction.

On September 30, 2021, Industrial Company JSC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Roman Trotsenko's GeoProMining, mysteriously acquired 60% of the ZCMC shares and promptly donated a quarter of that stake to the Armenian government. The granted 25% of the shares make up 15% of the ZCMC equity. Trotsenko’s company acquired the shares immediately after they were unfrozen by an Armenian court. The government has not revealed how Trotsenko became the recipient of the stake or the sum paid by him.

Speaking about the corruption scandal in the parliament in October 2021, Nikol Pashinyan said that "Armenia received a proposal from one of the GeoProMining owners which was discussed and they came to the conclusion that it meets the economic and state interests of Armenia.”

"This includes two very important components: the first is the construction of a copper smelter. Second, the construction of a new nuclear power plant is part of the program. GeoProMining LLC has undertaken investment commitments for the establishment of a copper smelter, which has been duly recorded, and talks on the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Armenia have already started,” Pashinyan said.

Roman Trotsenko also announced the corporation's plans to support the construction of a new nuclear plant in Armenia.

Likhachev confirmed back in November 2021 that Trotsenko was interested in new power sources in view of his new industrial projects in Armenia.

"It’s known that Mr. Trotsenko has, as they call it, dropped anchor here," Likhachev said on Nov. 16, 2021.

“Several months have passed since that statement, but not only haven’t the negotiations on a new nuclear power plant taken shape, but also the fervor of the statements has diminished. Nikol Pashinyan no longer speaks about the progress or the results of negotiations on the construction of a new nuclear power plant, saying only such a possibility is being discussed. While Trotsenko, who promised billions in investments, no longer appears on the scene. It seems that the promises given to each other remain unfulfilled. Trotsenko was not present at yesterday's meeting of Likhachev and Pashinyan,” Pastinfo says.

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