After last week's Cabinet reshuffle, several commentators and opposition parties feared that government will once again push for a nuclear deal with Russia.
The Sunday Times has now reported that shortly before the Cabinet reshuffle, a team sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin met with President Jacob Zuma to allegedly tell him to speed up the nuclear deal.
Stephen Grootes spoke to Physics Professor, Hartmut Winkler on why it is so important for Russia to go ahead with this nuclear deal and the impact of South Africa potentially pushing ahead with the agreement.
He explains the risks involved.
The Russians have been quite aggressive pushing nuclear construction agreements with all sorts of countries, in some cases they have been successful.— Hartmut Winkler, Professor of Physics at the University of Johannesburg
It is quite a big risk for the Russians to go into that because usually the way they go about is they offer some sort of a big loan up front and the repayment for that loan would have to be paid back after 35 years.— Hartmut Winkler, Professor of Physics at the University of Johannesburg
What it leads to is a situation where then the Russians are going to have a direct interest in maintaining a certain regime in a country.— Hartmut Winkler, Professor of Physics at the University of Johannesburg
That is one reason. They are in there to make money as well, they need to keep their domestic nuclear industry alive but ultimately it does not really make sense.— Hartmut Winkler, Professor of Physics at the University of Johannesburg
For more from Winker and the nuke deal, listen here....