Romania terminates BRI project with China

Romanian government requests state nuclear power company nix agreement with Chinese counterpart

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Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban (Facebook, Ludovic Orban photo)

Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban (Facebook, Ludovic Orban photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Romanian government recently announced in a statement that it has requested Romanian Nuclear Power Company Nuclearelectrica to terminate negotiations over the construction of two nuclear reactors at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

The statement pointed out that the Romanian government will find new partners for the project, according to Newtalk.

An agreement was signed by Romania last May, stipulating that the two countries would cooperate to establish a joint project venture company with China accounting for 51% of the shares, BalkanInsight reported.

Romania actually began preparations to construct reactors at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant as early as 10 years ago, per reports. At that time, there were many companies competing for bids, including Chinese and European firms; however, only CNNC prevailed.

Since then China has remained persistent, investing about US$7 billion to enter Romania, which is serving as a springboard​​​ for Beijing to enter the EU's nuclear energy market while simultaneously promoting its Belt and Road Initiative in Eastern Europe.

However, Romania has always been pro-American and the two countries signed a missile defense deployment agreement four years ago. Furthermore, NATO has also established many important institutions in the country, as it has become a key region for Western countries to push back against Russia.

In an interview with Hotnews, Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, who previously criticized the nuclear reactor project, said, "It is clear to me that it will not work with the Chinese." In January 2020 Romanian Minister of Economy, Energy, and Business Environment Virgil Popescu suggested that Nuclearelectrica independently build a nuclear reactor at Cernavoda and cooperate with NATO partners on a new project as a more feasible solution.