Two Russian officials were previously scheduled to take the stage at an event organized by the UN nuclear watchdog.
Russian representatives will no longer participate in an upcoming meeting on nuclear energy in the US capital, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The organization did not offer any explanation for the alleged schedule change.
An unnamed IAEA official said top figures in Moscow’s state energy corporation, Rosatom, and its main nuclear regulator, Rostechnadzor, had been “fallen” from the meeting’s list of speakers, telling Bloomberg that “participation in the conference may change for programmatic or personal reasons” without further elaboration.
“We are confident that the current program will ensure a successful conference,” the official continued, adding that the meetings will cover “The role of nuclear energy and its contribution to energy security”.
The reasoning behind the decision remains unclear, as the IAEA did not specify whether the Russian representatives were removed from the agenda against their wishes or refused to attend voluntarily. Rosatom and the IAEA did not immediately respond to RT’s request for clarification.
While a June briefing on the event features Rosatom’s first Deputy Director General Kirill Komarov and Rostechnadzor Vice President Aleksey Ferapontov in its list of speakers and panelists, their names do not appear in the current conference programme. .
Several new speakers have been added to the list in that time, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, as well as nuclear officials from China, Poland, South Africa and Argentina.
Although Russian nuclear engineer Mikhail Chudakov heads the IAEA’s nuclear energy department, the agency “refused to comment” on whether he would attend next week’s event, according to Bloomberg.
Two US officials who previously spoke to the outlet on condition of anonymity said Moscow’s presence at the IAEA meeting would be a “diplomatic nightmare”, as the White House has sought for months to impose additional sanctions against Rosatom itself. The officials also noted that under a host-nation agreement, the United States must invite delegates from all IAEA member states, saying any effort to exclude Russia could create problems with other nations seeking Russian nuclear technology. since Rosatom is still the world leader. leading exporter of nuclear reactors and fuel.
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