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Venezuela and Russia agreed that cooperation in the areas of energy and fuel are a priority, and thus subscribed it in the final document of the first High Level Intergovernmental Russian-Venezuelan Commission (CIAN) meeting, which was signed by Vice-president José Vicente Rangel and Alexansder Zhukov, his Russian counterpart.

Both countries decided to determine a list of the most important cooperation projects in the areas of oil production, transportation, and refining; installation of hydroelectric and thermoelectric plants, electric transmission lines and other projects of mutual interest.

After setting the second meeting for next year in Caracas, both countries agreed to take the necessary measures to assure that the Kyoto Protocol, an important instrument to attack the serious problem of global climatic changes, takes effect.

As for economic and commercial cooperation, both delegations agreed that the current commercial flow does not reflect the existing potentialities in this area, making it thus necessary to take measures in order to seek greater balance in the increase of the trading volumes.

Venezuela and Russia admitted the need of favoring the development and consolidation of multilateral inter-bank relations, with the purpose of widening commercial and economic cooperation, and also of developing credit and investment cooperation between both countries. Russia informed that several Russian banks, like the Vneshtorgbank and the Vneshekonombank are willing to evaluate their participation in the economic and commercial cooperation project between both countries.

Venezuela and Russia expressed their support of the proposal by the Russian company Rusal, both to build in Venezuela -with the cooperation of the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana (CVG), “a new alumina plant (with a productive capacity above a million tons, and supplied by the local bauxite deposits) and to participate in the expansion of the corporation’s capacity to produce primary aluminum”. According to Rangel, this represents a billion U$ investment.

Other areas of cooperation

The commission also expressed its willingness to develop scientific and technological cooperation. According to the Venezuelan proposal, the areas specified as priorities for bilateral cooperation were gas and petroleum, biotechnology, aerospace technology, telecommunications and computer technology.

In the technological-military field, both parties confirmed their interest in developing and strengthening cooperation, based on the Technical-Military Cooperation Agreement subscribed between both governments in 2001.

Published in Quantum No.35