A top Ukrainian energy official has said that the Group of 7 major industrial nations should do more than they are currently doing to help Ukraine achieve closure of the Chernobyl nuclear plant.

“It is not Ukraine that will be guilty if the third Chernobyl reactor is still operating in 2000, but the western countries for failing to honour their promises,” said the Deputy Energy Minister Mikhael Umanets. “Ukraine has fulfilled all of its obligations, and closed two reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear plant earlier than originally planned.”

It has also been proposed that Ukraine should build a combined cycle gas turbine plant on the site of the Chernobyl nuclear plant when it is closed. Mikhail Umanets said that this suggestion has come from the Russian gas giant, Gazprom.

Gazprom is currently building the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, which will run close to the site of the Chernobyl plant.

The planned combined cycle plant will cost $600 million to build, and construction is expected to take four years.