Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mustafa Adam-Noble, "Libya and nuclear energy," Pambazuka News, May 27, 2008.

[Those who are waiting for salvation to arrive as a Democratic victory in the American elections this November may be disappointed to learn that Bush's demolition of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty is already spawning long-term consequences. Nuclear power isn't just a "solution" to climate change. It's a "futures" investment in the opportunity to develop nuclear weapons. -jlt]

Libya is getting the backing of Ukraine to build nuclear reactors. Mustafa Adam-Noble looks at the implications of an oil-rich country going nuclear and the possible impact on Libyan people.

A honeymoon is rapidly emerging between Libya and the Ukraine.

Viktor Yushchenko, the Ukrainian President, has declared his intention to help Libya develop its use of “peaceful” nuclear energy. According to Afrique En Ligne, an online African magazine, bilateral economic projects have been emphasised by Yushschenko. They include the granting of a Libyan contract to a Ukrainian oil and gas company in return for the use of Ukrainian agricultural land by Libya. The Ukraine has also offered to build roads and railways in the North African country and has recently supplied Libya with an Antonov AN-124-100, the world’s largest cargo plane.

Such a large scale of political and economic bartering and investment is bound to raise a few eyebrows.

On the one hand, the rush for oil by the Ukrainians makes sense: Moscow’s threat of turning off Russian-Ukranian pipelines is ever-present. Libya’s need for cheaper food amid rising food prices is a very real concern, and Gaddafi can’t seem to fix agriculture domestically. However, this eager international relationship is murky and far from straightforward.

Libya is awash with corruption amongst its officials and desperation within its population. Decades of crippling policies by Gaddafi, and subsequent trade sanctions, have left the country in tatters.

Libya was an active sponsor of terrorism until only recently when, in 2003, Gaddafi admitted to bombing a Pan American flight over Lockerbie in 1998, killing 270 people. The dictator also admitted to bombing the French UTA airliner over Niger in 1989 that killed all 170 civilians on board.

Read the rest at Pambazuka News =>

Mustafa Adam-Noble is a Libyan political commentator.Recommend this Post

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