After a high-level meeting of the Russian and Venezuelan delegations, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed this Friday a series of strategic agreements, including an agreement to build the first nuclear power plant in Venezuela.
The agreement, which had been negotiated during Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit to Caracas last April, was signed by the head of the Russian Nuclear Energy Agency (Rosatom), Sergei Kiriyenko, and a Venezuelan official in charge of the issue.
At a press conference after the signing of the agreements, the Russian president said that the building of this plant will make Venezuela independent “even in the event oil prices fall. Our economies are vulnerable, and we have talked about this.”
“We see this project very positively. We, the Russian Federation, regard the nuclear sphere as one of the prioritized paths of development, and we are building nuclear power plants in various countries. Why shouldn’t Venezuela have this kind of power plant?” he emphasized.
For his part, the Venezuelan president maintained that in this kind of meeting “lie the paths toward our major goals — to create a grand geopolitical, political, social, and economic strategy, an intertwined struggle.”
The presidents also signed other agreements in the areas of energy, finance, construction, and technical-military cooperation.
Also completed during the meeting was the establishment of a Russian-Venezuelan bank, which will finance investment projects of the two countries and which has already received the approval of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia.
Likewise, the governments of the two nations concretized the agreement to implement a project to build 7,000 houses in the Venezuelan territory, financed by the Russian nation.
The day before, Chávez participated in the forum on “Two Centuries of Latin American Independence and the Bolivarian Revolution,” held in the Library of Foreign Languages in Moscow, where he underscored that the liberation struggle has not ended in Latin America yet.
“We are continuing the struggle for our liberation and independence. We are determined to become truly free, come what may, at whatever cost,” the Venezuelan head of state told the participants in the forum.
Afterward, the Venezuelan leader, for whom this is the ninth visit to Russia, attended a dinner hosted by Medvedev, which was held at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow.
Chávez’s visit to Russia marks the beginning of his ten-day tour of Belarus, Ukraine, Iran, Syria, Libya, Algeria, and Portugal, as part of Venezuela’s efforts to diversify its international ties.
The original article “Medvédev y Chávez firman acuerdo para construcción de primera central nuclear en Venezuela” was published by TeleSur on 15 October 2010. Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] gmail.com).