Venezuela, Russia reach energy deal

CARACAS, Venezuela, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- The presidents of Russia and Venezuela have signed bilateral agreements, including construction of a nuclear power plant in the South American country.

The BBC reported the two leaders signed the nuclear power agreement Wednesday night.


Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said President Dmitry Medvedev, the first Russian head of state to visit Caracas in 150 years, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez signed a 25-year plan to cooperate with oil, gas and power generation, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

"Cooperation in the oil sector covers the entire chain from development and transportation to the construction of pipelines, equipment supplies and refining," said Sechin, who added the plan has an option for a five-year extension.

Medvedev said he and Chavez also decided to sign an agreement to set up a joint bank to help finance projects in Russia and Venezuela. The Russian president said his country's third-largest bank, Gazprombank, would be involved in setting up the joint bank.

Medvedev said the two countries are also planning closer defense ties.

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