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Cablegate: Krsko Nuclear Plant Agreement Enters Into Force At

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000681

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ENRG TRGY SI HR
SUBJECT: KRSKO NUCLEAR PLANT AGREEMENT ENTERS INTO FORCE AT
LAST

REF: LJUBLJANA 216

1. THE BILATERAL AGREEMENT ON THE KRSKO NUCLEAR POWER PLANT,
LOCATED IN SLOVENIA BUT CO-OWNED BY SLOVENIA AND CROATIA,
CAME INTO FORCE ON MARCH 11, THE DATE THE GOC RECEIVED THE
SLOVENIAN DIPLOMATIC NOTE REGARDING SLOVENIAN RATIFICATION.
ON MARCH 14, THE CROATIAN PARLIAMENT REJECTED TWO MOTIONS
FROM OPPOSITION PARTIES TO WITHDRAW CROATIAN RATIFICATION --
SOMETHING THE PARLIAMENT HAD LEFT OPEN AS A POSSIBILITY WHEN
IT RATIFIED THE AGREEMENT IN JULY 2002 IN THE CASE THAT
SLOVENIA DID NOT RATIFY BY THE END OF 2002.

2. WHILE THE AGREEMENT SETTLED OUTSTANDING CLAIMS AND
ARREARS THROUGH JUNE 30, 2002, THE DELAY IN ENTRY INTO FORCE
MEANS THAT ANOTHER EIGHT MONTHS HAVE LAPSED DURING WHICH
CROATIA RECEIVED NEITHER ELECTRICITY FROM THE PLANT NOR MONEY
FROM THE SALE OF THE ELECTRICITY. ACCORDING TO THE GOC,
SLOVENIA IS ON THE HOOK TO PAY CROATIA FOR ITS SHARE OF
ELECTRICITY PROCEEDS DURING THAT PERIOD . HOWEVER, THE GOC
HAS ANNOUNCED IT WILL SEEK TO SETTLE THE ISSUE OF
NON-DELIVERY OF ELECTRICITY DURING THE EIGHT MONTH PERIOD
SEPARATELY, AND WELCOMES THE AGREEMENT AS CLEARING THE WAY
FOR CROATIA TO RESUME ITS ROLE AS FIFTY-PERCENT OWNER OF THE
PLANT.

3. OBJECTIONS TO THE KRSKO AGREEMENT IN THE PARLIAMENT
CENTERED AROUND WHETHER THE FINANCIAL PROVISIONS WERE GOOD
FOR CROATIA. ONE OBJECTION CAME FROM THE HSLS (CROATIAN
SOCIAL LIBERAL PARTY), WHICH LEFT THE RULING COALITION LAST
SUMMER, OSTENSIBLY OVER THIS ISSUE, AND THE EXTREME
RIGHT-WING HSP (CROATIAN PARTY OF RIGHTS), WHICH REPORTEDLY
ALLEGED THAT SUPPORTERS OF THE AGREEMENT IN THE GOVERNMENT
WERE "COLLABORATORS" OF THE SLOVENES.

4. THERE WAS ALSO SOME CONSTERNATION IN THE PARLIAMENT AND IN
THE PRESS OVER A PROVISION OF THE SLOVENIAN LAW OF
RATIFICATION, WHICH CAME AS AN ATTACHMENT TO THE DIPLOMATIC
NOTE. THE PROVISION APPARENTLY CITES EU REGULATIONS AS
REQUIRING A SHORTER TIMELINE FOR DETERMINING FINAL
DISPOSITION FOR THE NUCLEAR WASTE FROM THE PLANT. WHILE THE
PRESS CHOSE TO MAKE AN ISSUE OF THIS PROVISION, AND EVEN
CLAIMED THAT IT INCREASED THE POSSIBILITY THAT CROATIA MIGHT
ONE DAY HAVE TO STORE THE WASTE, THE GOVERNMENT EXPLAINED
THERE WAS NOTHING ABOUT IT THAT CHANGED CROATIA'S
OBLIGATIONS, WHICH ARE CONTAINED WITHIN THE TEXT OF THE
AGREEMENT ITSELF. IF SLOVENIA WANTED TO TAKE ON ADDITIONAL
BURDENS, THAT WAS ITS PREROGATIVE.

5. FROM OUR DISCUSSIONS WITH THE MINISTRY OF ECONOMY, IT IS
CLEAR THAT CROATIA HAS NO INTENTION OF EVER STORING THE WASTE
ON ITS TERRITORY. ACCORDING TO THE AGREEMENT, CROATIA AND
SLOVENIA SHARE RESPONSIBILITY FOR FINDING A PERMANENT
SOLUTION TO THE DISPOSAL PROBLEM (CURRENTLY, WASTE IS STORED
ON-SITE AT KRSKO), AND A PROGRAM FOR THE DECOMMISSIONING OF
THE PLANT SHOULD BE DRAFTED WITHIN 12 MONTHS FROM THE ENTRY
INTO FORCE OF THE AGREEMENT. IF THE PARTIES FAIL TO REACH
AGREEMENT ON DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE BY THE END OF THE
PLANT'S LIFE (NOW SET FOR 2023, BUT WITH AN EXTENSION
POSSIBLE), THEN WITHIN TWO YEARS OF THE PLANT'S
DECOMMISSIONING, BOTH PARTIES ARE OBLIGED TO STORE THE WASTE
IN A 50-50 DIVISION. CROATIA HAS NO INTENTION OF ALLOWING
THAT TO COME TO PASS, AND OUR CONTACT IN THE MINISTRY OF
ECONOMY PREDICTED THAT ULTIMATELY THE WASTE WILL END UP IN A
THIRD COUNTRY.
ROSSIN

NNNN

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