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UK to provide £192m loan guarantee to boost Ukraine nuclear capabilities

Energy secretary Grant Shapps has visited Ukraine to announce fresh financial support for its nuclear fuel supply in a bid to end its reliance on Russia.

The UK will provide a £192m loan guarantee to Ukraine's national nuclear company, Energoatom via the UK's export credit agency, UK Export Finance.

Through the deal, UK-headquartered Urenco will supply Energoatom with uranium enrichment services that are vital for nuclear fuel, with nuclear power generating over half of the country's electricity.

The government hopes this will strengthen Ukraine's energy security and help end the country's dependence on nuclear services and nuclear fuel from Russia, as well as further isolate Vladmir Putin.

According to the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, the new loan will take the UK's non-military financial assistance to Ukraine close to £5bn.

On his visit to Ukraine, Mr Shapps met senior Ukrainian ministers and energy industry figures and visited a power station that is undergoing repairs after it was damaged by Russian bombing.

He also visited a children's nursery attended by Nikita, the young son of the family he took in under the UK's Homes for Ukraine scheme - where he played a recorded message from the boy.

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"Our support for Ukraine is unwavering in the face of Putin's barbaric invasion - the UK continues to stand with Ukraine as they repel Russian attacks and rebuild their country," Mr Shapps said.

"Being here on the ground, it's truly remarkable witnessing first-hand the sheer courage, resolve and gritty determination of the Ukrainian people.

"Putin has used energy as a weapon of war: the action today to support nuclear fuel deliveries will help Ukraine end their reliance on Russian supplies and bolster their energy security."