Brussels — The European Union's court rejected a complaint on Wednesday filed by Austria in connection with controversial Hungarian state aid for two new nuclear reactors.
The state aid for Hungary's Paks II nuclear power plant raised controversy as it is partly financed by a €10 billion ($10.3 billion) Russian loan.
Wednesday's ruling can still be appealed to the European Court of Justice, the EU's highest court.
The European Commission had approved Hungary's state aid for the expansion of the nuclear power plant in 2017.
The two new reactors are to be completed by 2030. Nearly 80% of the costs are covered by Russian loans.
Austria filed a lawsuit against the commission's decision, objecting to the direct award of the contract to a company belonging to the Russian state-owned Rosatom, arguing a tendering procedure should have been carried out instead.
Vienna also criticized an alleged distortion of competition and unequal treatment for renewable energy producers, as well as raising concerns about a potential dominant market position.
The EU court rejected all three points in its ruling, saying the direct award did not violate EU law.
The court also clarified that Hungary's state aid was not distorting competition as each EU country is allowed to determine for itself how its energy should be produced, nor would the subsidies create or strengthen a dominant position.
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