Ukraine Emerges as Battleground in US-Russia Nuclear Contest – by David Brennan (Newsweek – February 04, 2024)

Apivotal nuclear showdown is simmering behind Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine, as Kyiv pushes its international partners—primarily the U.S.—to kneecap one of Moscow’s most influential and lucrative strategic industries.

While Ukraine’s troops weather fresh Russian winter offensives in the south and east of the country, Kyiv’s energy minister is advancing a long-term plan to pivot away from Russian-designed and fueled nuclear energy reactors, the export of which has given the Kremlin powerful leverage over a raft of European nations.

Proposed international sanctions on Moscow’s nuclear industry have thus far floundered given the country’s uranium exports still account for a large chunk of the global supply, especially for Soviet-designed reactors. But more cooperation between Kyiv and U.S. nuclear firms, Ukraine believes, can address that problem.

“It means that we [can] destroy the dependence [on] and monopoly of Russia in this nuclear fuel supply,” German Galushchenko told Newsweek in an exclusive interview. “Now we’re communicating this to our partners, saying: ‘Guys, you have the problem. Here’s the solution.'”

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