March 13, 2015 / 12:32 AM / 2 years ago

Hungary-Russia nuclear deal hits EU hurdle

(Reuters) - Hungary's 10 billion euro ($10.6 billion) plan to expand its Soviet-era Paks nuclear power plant in a deal with Russia has hit an objection in the European Commission that may oblige Budapest to revise the terms, EU sources said on Thursday.

Confirming a report in Friday's Financial Times, one diplomat said objections by the EU's nuclear fuel purchasing agency Euratom against a plan for Moscow to supply fuel to new reactors at the Paks facility had been upheld by the commission. Hungary may have to review the deal.

A government spokesman in Budapest, Zoltan Kovacs, denied that the EU executive had "blocked" the expansion of Paks. Sources in Brussels said the deal agreed a year ago, which has raised concerns about Hungary's ties to a Russia increasingly hostile to the European Union, could still be modified.

Benedek Javor, a Hungarian member of the Greens bloc in the European Parliament who has opposed the deal, told Reuters the EU objection was to a fuel supply contract signed with Russia.

The European Commission and Euratom had no immediate comment.

Reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru and Alastair Macdonald in Brussels; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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