Russia has been looking to increase its presence on the world nuclear fuel market, but has encountered resistance, particularly from the United States.
"We will never agree to Russia's unequal position on the world's nuclear market in comparison with other countries," said Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power.
Restrictions on imports from Russia of low enriched uranium have been in force since the Soviet era. Russia is currently allowed to operate on the U.S. market without a 116% import duty only through the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC), a special intermediary agent, under the HEU-LEU Conversion program.
The U.S. International Trade Commission voted July 18 to keep the 116% import duty on Russian uranium products, claiming that the lifting of anti-dumping restrictions would seriously harm the American economy.
Kiriyenko said Russia seeks no more than a 25% share of the U.S. uranium market, but wants to make direct deliveries at market prices.
"We would like to provide direct deliveries to the U.S. nuclear market now and after 2013 [when the HEU-LEU contract expires]," Kiriyenko said.
He said tension has persisted in talks with the U.S. on lifting the anti-dumping restrictions, despite high confidence on the market operating on long-term contracts.
"We are astonished that our American partners say they have no guarantees of Russian uranium deliveries until 2020," he said.
He was more enthusiastic about uranium deliveries to Europe, citing a number of loopholes, but said that European laws still impair Russian deliveries.
"[The Federal Agency for Nuclear Power is not demanding] privileges for Russia, but equal terms."
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The British experience can be instructive for Russia. London retains its British Commonwealth if it wants to use this as a foundation for integration in the future. That’s a valuable lesson for Russian experts who are calling for an end to “ineffective” associations like the CIS, the Russian World and others.