Support for Russia in the Global South Raises Nuclear Export Challenges

The following infographics highlight several significant challenges that Western nuclear exporters will face when seeking to supply smaller nuclear power technologies to developing economy nations. Russia and China already have established strong energy and economic relationships with most of these countries. The U.S. has a small nuclear cooperation footprint among these nations. And they are wary of a Western-controlled international system.

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)

EIU-Identified Russian-Supporting or Neutral Countries

Source: Partnership for Global Security

The first infographic is from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). It identifies countries that are supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, those that are Russia-leaning, and those that have maintained their neutrality. These countries represent 63% of the global population and 32% of the global gross domestic product (GDP).

The second infographic, from PGS, illustrates that the overwhelming majority of countries identified by EIU as being favorably inclined to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or that have maintained their neutrality regarding the war, have signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with Russia, engage with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), or have done both.

However, some of these countries have not signed a Russian nuclear agreement or joined BRI, including Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Colombia, Eritrea, and Eswatini. Additionally, there are several countries in the Russia favorable or neutral categories that have signed 123 Agreements for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation with the United States in addition to agreements with Russia or participation in BRI. These include Brazil, India, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. Noticeably absent from the list of 123 agreements currently signed is most of Africa.

Patrick Kendall, Program Director, Partnership for Global Security