Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev shake hands during their meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. Putin arrived in Uzbekistan on Friday for an official visit. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russia to build two-reactor nuclear plant in Uzbekistan

October 19, 2018 - 6:55 am

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin and the president of Uzbekistan have agreed that Russia will build the ex-Soviet republic's first nuclear power plant.

During Putin's visit to the Uzbek capital of Tashkent on Friday, he and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev ordered the start of preliminary work at the future plant's construction site.

The plant in the Navoi region of central Uzbekistan is estimated to have a cost $11 billion. It will have two 1,200-megawatt nuclear reactors and is set to begin operating in 2028.

Putin says Moscow is ready to expand military technology ties with the government in Tashkent, including the possible joint production of weapons in Uzbekistan.

Mirziyoyev says Russian and Uzbek companies also could expand their cooperation in textile industries and fertilizer production and sell the products internationally.