Slovak Premier, French President Agree on Nuclear Cooperation

Friday, September 19, 2008

Paris, 17 September: Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and French President Nicolas Sarkozy today signed an agreement on cooperation in nuclear energy and agreements on strategic partnership which is expected to enhance all-round relations between the two countries.

"France and Slovakia have clearly opted for nuclear energy. It covers 50 per cent of electric energy consumption in Slovakia," the French presidential office said on the meeting.

It added that Slovakia is interested in gaining further experience in nuclear energy use. Up until now it has used a Russian technology.

Fico said Slovakia wants to extend the nuclear power plant in Jaslovske Bohunice in the west of the country and build another one.

According to diplomatic sources, Slovakia wants to have the state- of-the-art and safest nuclear technology.

Sarkozy assured Fico that France's nuclear energy technology is at top level and offers the best guarantees.

Fico and Sarkozy noted that France is Slovakia's biggest foreign investor. They discussed possibilities of extending cooperation in building infrastructures and in the military and transport fields.

They discussed building a Paris-Bratislava rail corridor.

Fico and Sarkozy met at a working lunch during which they also discussed the topics of the EU summit in October.

France is EU president in this half of the year.

Foreign Minister Jan Kubis accompanied Fico on his day-long visit to France.

Since he assumed the presidential post in May 2007, Sarkozy has offered strategic partnership to a number of central and east European states to strengthen relations with the region that long laid beyond the margin of France's interest.

The Czech Republic signed strategic partnership with France in mid-April during Sarkozy's visit to Prague.

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