MOSCOW, July 19 (UPI) -- Russia said it signed a multibillion-dollar contract with Belarus to help build the first nuclear power plant in the former Soviet republic.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a contract with his Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich outlining plans for a $10 billion nuclear power plant, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.
The plant, to be built by Russia's Atomstroyexport company, will consist of two 1,200-megawatt reactors. One unit is to be completed by 2018 and the second in 2020.
Minsk had embraced nuclear power in the 1980s but its ambitions were thwarted by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine. Nuclear power has also come under scrutiny in the wake of the March 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan.
Russia said it would help finance the Belarusian project's construction.
Russian natural gas company Gazprom announced it took control of Beltransgaz as part of a revised energy deal with Belarus last year. Gazprom took 100 percent control over Beltransgaz for $2.5 billion.
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