Putin visit strengthens Russia-Venezuela ties

15:51, April 03, 2010      

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In his first trip to Venezuela on Friday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin clinched a number of deals expected to boost bilateral ties in energy, defense, space and other sectors.

Among over 30 agreements and documents signed by Putin and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the highlight is the launch of a joint venture between major Russian energy firms and Venezuela's state oil company to develop an oil field that will eventually produce 450,000 barrels a day.

The deal involves a total investment of 20 billion U.S. dollars over 40 years.

Under the agreement, Russian firms will help Venezuela to develop the Junin 6 heavy oil block in the Orinoco belt in southeastern Venezuela, according to Venezuelan officials.

The joint venture will become operational later this year, with initial daily output of 50,000 barrels.

During the visit, Putin and Chavez also discussed a plan to build a nuclear power plant in Venezuela with help from Russia.

At a joint press conference after their meeting, the Venezuelan president said that the two countries were willing to negotiate on the issue.

"We discussed the issue and are ready to begin developing the first project for a nuclear power plant, of course for peaceful purposes," he added.

Although no new defense pact was signed during the visit, the Russian Prime Minister personally delivered four Mi-17 helicopters to Chavez, the remaining four of 38 military helicopters Venezuela bought from Russia.

With regard to a credit of 2.2 billion dollars that Russia provided for Venezuela in September 2009, Putin said at the press conference that it had not been used by the Southern American nation until now.

"Venezuela asked for a credit of 2.2 billion dollars and we said we could give that to them. But Venezuela hasn't spent these resources," said the Russian leader.


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(Editor:赵晨雁)

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