Russia Becomes the Middle East’s Preferred but Flawed Nuclear Partner

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands after a welcome ceremony at the new Presidential Palace, Ankara, Turkey, Dec. 1, 2014 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands after a welcome ceremony at the new Presidential Palace, Ankara, Turkey, Dec. 1, 2014 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).
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On April 14, Turkey broke ground on its first nuclear power plant, a controversial $20 billion project in Akkuyu on the Mediterranean coast. Like Iran’s Bushehr plant, the only operational nuclear power reactor in the Middle East, the reactor at Akkuyu will be constructed by Russia. Moscow’s Middle Eastern sales drive doesn’t end there. It extends to recent nuclear cooperation agreements of varying degrees with Egypt, Jordan, Algeria and Saudi Arabia. With little notice, Russia is on the verge of becoming the nuclear Wal-Mart of the Middle East. But if across the region Russian nuclear exports come with many advantages, […]

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