NATO specialists recently advised Ukraine on the safety of its atomic reactors, amid concerns about spreading instability in the country, Reuters reported.
A team of alliance civilian experts traveled to the country in April at Kiev’s request to provide recommendations on options for enhancing protections around key infrastructure sites such as nuclear plants and gas pipelines, the news service reported on Wednesday.
Some independent analysts have voiced concern about the potential for a nuclear plant meltdown occurring if the electricity that powers reactors’ cooling systems is cut off or plant personnel flee their posts due to nearby fighting in the country.
“In any country, in any situation, there are plans and additional measures to protect infrastructure objects,” Ukrainian Ambassador to NATO Ihor Dolhov said in an interview. “So the purpose was to evaluate the performance of measures which are being implemented in Ukraine to protect such objects.”
Fears of “possible destabilization” in areas where key energy sites are located prompted Kiev to seek the expert advice, the diplomat acknowledged.
There are 15 active atomic energy plants in Ukraine, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
In addition to hosting numerous nuclear sites, Ukraine also is home to a number of defense factories that supply strategic missile components to Russia, Bloomberg Businessweek reported on Wednesday.
Over half of Russia’s nuclear base was constructed in Ukraine or relies on navigation technology produced by Ukraine, said Serhiy Zgurets, a Ukraine defense industry expert.
Were arms shipments and contracts to service Russian long-range missiles halted, there would be very real impacts for some Russian weapon systems, suggested Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher for the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
What We're Following See More »
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."
The government alleges the company put eight “software-based features” on diesel engines in nearly 104,000 Ram pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokees from the 2014 to 2016 model years, which allowed the vehicles to emit fewer pollutants during EPA lab tests than during normal driving conditions.
At an open hearing of the House Intelligence Committee, former CIA chief John Brennan said he saw information on Trump-Russia contacts that were worth a further look. "Having been involved in many counterintelligence cases in the past, I know what the Russians do. They try to suborn individuals," Brennan said. "And they try to get individuals, including U.S. persons, to act on their behalf, whether wittingly or unwittingly. And I was worried by a number of the contacts that the Russians had with U.S. persons, and so therefore by the time I left office ... I had unresolved questions in my mind."
"President Trump is moving rapidly toward assembling outside counsel to help him navigate the investigations into his campaign and Russian interference in last year’s election, and in recent days he and his advisers have privately courted several prominent attorneys to join the effort. By Monday, a list of finalists for the legal team had emerged, according to four people briefed on the discussions."