Los Angeles 10/15/2010 11:25:00 PM
Russia Signs Nuclear Power Station Deal With Venezuela
Russia says it is ready to assist Venezuela in building its first nuclear power station. The move is expected to magnify concerns in the US over close collaboration between Caracas and Moscow.
The announcement by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev came at the conclusion of a two day trip to Russia by his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chávez. Venezuela's economy is heavily dependent on oil and, according to Chavez, nuclear power can serve as an alternative source of energy.
The Russian president has openly admitted that the agreement is not likely to go down well with Washington but supported Venezuela's right to the peaceful use of nuclear technology. The facility is expected to be constructed within the next 10 to 15 years. Its costs have not been revealed yet.
"An agreement has just been signed on co-operation in the atomic sphere. I don't know who will shudder at this," Medvedev said following his meeting with Chavez. “The president [of Venezuela] said there will be countries in which this will provoke different emotions. But I want to say specially that our intentions are absolutely pure and open".
He further said that Moscow desires Caracas to have a "full range of energy choices".
This is Chavez's ninth visit to Moscow. Previously, he has bought military hardware worth billions of dollars from Russia including military aircraft, helicopters and submarines. The two leaders have vowed to continue technical and military cooperation in the future.