Burkina Faso’s military leaders have signed a deal with Russia to build a nuclear power plant to increase electricity supplies.
“The government of Burkina Faso has signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of a nuclear power plant,” the government said in a statement.
The agreement was signed at the Russian Energy Week in Moscow, which was attended by Burkina Faso’s energy minister Simon-Pierre Boussim.
The document “fulfills the wish of the president of [Burkina] Faso, Captain Ibrahim Traore, expressed [in] July at the Russia-Africa summit during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin,” the statement said.
Russia’s state atomic energy agency Rosatom said in its own statement that “the memorandum is the first document in the field of the peaceful use of atomic energy between Russia and Burkina Faso.”
The nuclear power plant will enable the country to meet its energy needs, it said, adding that the agreement was signed by energy and mines minister Simon-Pierre Boussim, and Nikolay Spasskiy, Rosatom’s deputy director general.
The deal signed on Friday, follows a request made by Burkina Faso junta leader Captain Ibrahim Traore to Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg in July.
Traore, who sized power in a military coup in September 2022, has moved closer to Russia as its relationship with its former colonial power France sours, while Russia has move to break Western isolation over the Ukraine conflict and expand its influence in Africa.