On January 17, 2019, during the visit of the Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin to the Republic of Serbia, a package of agreements was signed in Belgrade. It creates a legal foundation for the practical implementation of joint projects in the field of nuclear energy use for peaceful purposes: an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of nuclear energy use based on proven and innovative technologies, as well as a joint statement on the strategic partnership between the countries for the construction of a center of nuclear science, technology and innovation.

Alexey Likhachev, Director General of ROSATOM, signed the documents from the Russian side, Nenad Popovich the Minister in charge of innovation and technological development in the Government of the Republic of Serbia, signed them from the Serbian side. Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and the Republic of Serbia President Alexander Vucic were present at the ceremony.

“Today we are laying a solid foundation for the development of high technologies in Serbia for many years to come. Improving economic efficiency, the developing agriculture, medicine, education and the quality of life is difficult to imagine without the use of peaceful atom. Signing the intergovernmental agreement marks the beginning of close and substantive cooperation in the field of innovation, digital, scientific and technical cooperation with our historical partner – Russia,” said Nenad Popovich.

The intergovernmental agreement establishes a wide range of cooperation areas between the countries, including, but not limited to, assistance in the creation and improvement of nuclear energy infrastructure in the Republic of Serbia, design, construction and modernization of research nuclear reactors, nuclear medicine development, implementation of fundamental and applied research in the field of nuclear energy, development of innovations, new technologies and modern digital technologies in the field of nuclear energy, radiation technologies application in agriculture, industry; education, training and retraining of specialists for the nuclear industry.

“Serbia has unique potential and experience in the development and use of nuclear technologies. We have identified projects that will combine professional human and technical competencies of Russia and Serbia. In particular, the implementation of the project to build the center of nuclear science, technology and innovation will not only give a powerful impetus to bilateral cooperation between Russia and Serbia in a number of innovative areas, including medicine, industry and agriculture, but will also serve as a platform for cooperation at the level of the entire Central European region. Of course, all projects will strictly comply with the highest standards of nuclear and radiation safety, taking into account the central role of the IAEA in the development of such norms and standards,” said Alexey Likhachev.

In order to implement the aforementioned areas of cooperation, the intergovernmental agreement provides for the formation of joint working groups to carry out specific projects and research, as well as expert exchange, the organization of seminars and conferences, assistance in educating and training scientific and technical personnel, equipment, materials and components supply.

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The intergovernmental agreement was signed as a follow-up to the Joint statement on the principles of cooperation in the field of innovation and technological development in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, which was signed on May 15, 2018 during the international forum “ATOMEXPO-2018” in Sochi.