Nuclear deal not on the agenda during Russia visit

Friday, June 22, 2018

Deputy President David Mabuza says nuclear energy plans did not form part of the agenda during his recent visit to Russia.

He said this when he responded to questions from Members of Parliament in the National Council of Provinces on Thursday. The opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, had asked about his recent visit to the Russian Federation.

“In all the issues I have referred to…there is no mention of nuclear. No discussions regarding the so-called nuclear deal were held, no reference was made about any current and/or future agreements.

“Having said that, our government’s position on nuclear remains that it is part of our energy mix to diversify our sources of energy. Our Integrated Resource Plan, to be concluded later in the year, will determine the role of nuclear in that mix,” he said.

The purpose of his working visit to Russia was to deliver South Africa’s message of congratulations to President Vladimir Putin on his re-election as well as his subsequent inauguration. President Cyril Ramaphosa was unable to attend the inauguration due to prior commitments. 

Mabuza said he had met with the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, who was assigned by President Putin to attend the meeting.

“In our discussions, we renewed South Africa’s commitment to further develop the good relationship with Russia guided by the 2013 Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership.

“We further discussed the importance of the implementation of the provisions of the declaration, especially pertaining to the annual political consultations by foreign ministers and the biennial consultations at Presidents’ level,” he said.

The Deputy President said during the engagements, he expressed South Africa’s appreciation that Russia accepted the proposed dates to host the South Africa-Russia 15th ITEC Session in Moscow.

Government uses the session to foster economic relations and strengthen strategic relationship between the two countries. 

“We also discussed the state of readiness of South Africa to host the 10th BRICS Summit of Heads of State in Johannesburg.

“The final issue we discussed was reforms of the United Nations. We enlisted the support of the Russian government for South Africa’s candidature for the non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. The Honourable Members would be aware that South Africa was overwhelmingly voted into the UN Security Council,” Mabuza said. –