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Ukraine Gets Energy Help Amid Threats From Russia

Operations Inside Kyivenergo Power Station
An engineer observes readings in the electricity control room at the gas powered Power Plant No.5 operated by Kievenergo, a unit of DTEK Holdings BV, in Kiev, Nov. 22, 2013. Vincent Mundy—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Most of Ukraine's nuclear fuel comes from Russia, but a new deal with Westinghouse Electric Company will change that as the two countries fight over energy costs. The company said it had extended a 2008 contract to provide fuel for Ukraine's reactors

A nuclear technology firm signaled Friday that it will help Ukraine become more energy independent from Russia by supplying fuel for Ukraine’s nuclear power plants through 2020.

Westinghouse Electric Company said it had extended a 2008 contract to provide fuel for Ukraine’s 15 nuclear reactors, which produce about half of the country’s electricity, the Associated Press reports. Most of Ukraine’s nuclear fuel comes from Russia, though Westinghouse will now provide up to 25 percent of that supply. The terms of the deal allow Westinghouse to potentially provide more fuel if needed, AP reports.

Ukraine also announced Friday that it would look to European countries for new sources of natural gas after Russia threatened to cut off supplies over price disputes, Reuters reports. The two countries have been locked in confrontation following Russia’s annexation of the breakaway region of Crimea from Ukraine.

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