Export of Czech experts to Iran cannot be prevented
PRAGUE, Aug 3 (CTK, Czech News Agency) - Czech officials have been searching
in vain for three months for a way of preventing Czech firms from exporting
expertise and giving advice on the completion of the nuclear power plant
under construction at Bushehr in Iran , reports Czech daily Mlada fronta
Lawyers and officials at the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Trade
and Industry have come to the conclusion that while under Czech law the
export of materials for use in building nuclear power plants and the export
of documents or plans with information can be prevented, there is no mechanism
which can be used to stop Czech firms offering advice abroad.
"It is a very sensitive matter. The United States have already
intervened and we promised them that we would prevent cooperation with
Now that it has become apparent that we have no mechanism for forbidding
expert assistance of Czech experts, the government must enter the game
and express its disagreement with this help," one of the responsible
officials, speaking off the record, told MfD.
However, the government has not yet discussed the matter and has no
plans at present to do so, government spokesman Libor Roucek told MfD.
A few days ago Prague firm Skodaexport requested permission to provide
expert assistance in the construction of the Bushehr plant, and both the
Prague and Plzen branches of Skoda have already made inquiries about the
possibility of providing such help.
"Naturally without their permission we will not do it," Skodaexport
official Pavel Vrnak told MfD, who nevertheless added that since there
was no law against the provision of such expert help, the company is expecting
a positive reply to its application.
There is considerable demand for Czech experts around the world, because
of their experience in combining western and Russian technology. The Bushehr
plant is the reverse case of the controversial Temelin plant in south
Bohemia, the completion of which the minority Social Democrat government
While the construction of Temelin was begun before 1989 using Russian
technology, it is being completed to western safety standards. Bushehr,
on the other hand, was begun by German firm Siemens, but is being finished
by Russian firms.
Some figures in business are calling for compensation for any contracts
which are lost because of external pressure. "A while ago the U.S.
forced Ukraine to give up a contract to supply turbo-sets for Bushehr.
During negotiations in Kyjev Madeleine Albright immediately promised
compensation for the lost contract. The Czechs have never yet succeeded
in negotiating similar conditions," Frantisek Svitak, director of
Skoda - Jaderne strojirenstvi (nuclear machinery) told MfD.