Russia and Ukraine have signed an intergovernmental agreement to complete two nuclear reactors. The deal comes weeks after the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) postponed a loan for the completion of the units.

The two plants are Khemlnitski-2 and Rovno-4. Officials from the Ukraine said that the deal was signed by the Ukrainian first deputy prime minister Oleh Dubyna and the Russian deputy prime minister Viktor Khristenko during an economic meeting in Ukraine. The Russian and Ukrainian presidents were also present.

The granting of an EBRD loan for $125 million was postponed indefinitely at the end of 2001 after the Ukraine raised several objections to key conditions. The loan would have released $1480 million to complete the upgrading of the reactors to Western safety standards. However the loan conditions included raising the price of electricity and enhancing the safety of the Ukraine’s 13 other reactors.

The new deal does not rule out future negotiations with the EBRD. According to Russia, their agreement involves funding already in the country’s 2002 budget.