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. Russia to double Bushehr personnel: official
MOSCOW, Feb 15 (AFP) Feb 15, 2008
Russia's nuclear constructor Atomstroiexport will nearly double its staff on the construction site of the Bushehr nuclear station Russia is building for Iran, the company's president said late Thursday.

"Earlier all our problems stemmed from irregular equipment supplies, now this is no big problem. But the problem of the lack of personnel remains, the deficit of workers is quite significant," Sergei Shmatko said as quoted by the Interfax news agency.

The company planned to bring in up to 300 specialists within the next few weeks, and a total of 1,000 before the year was out, nearly doubling the current 1,500 Atomstroiexport staff at the site, Shmatko said.

Western countries suspect that Iran's stated aim of developing nuclear power may be a cover for an atomic weapons programme, something Tehran denies.

Russia is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and has relatively close ties to Iran.

However, on Wednesday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denounced Iran for constantly showing its intentions to develop rocket technologies and enrich uranium.

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