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Putin, Maduro to discuss future of bilateral relations in Moscow

June 28, 2013, 21:01 UTC+3

The Kremlin expects that the meeting between Putin and Maduro will be crowned by a number of bilateral agreements

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MOSCOW, June 28 (Itar-Tass) - The future of Russian-Venezuelan relations will be in focus of the talks Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to hold with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro who will arrive in Moscow to attend a summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). It is not ruled out that the talks will yield a number of cooperation document.

The Venezuelan president will take part in the forum on July 1 and will meet with Putin on July 2, Russian president’s aide Yuri Ushakov said on Friday. “It will be the first meeting between the two leaders. So it is planned to discuss the entire spectrum of bilateral relations, including prospects of the development of cooperation in the trade and economic, cultural and humanitarian areas - how to build relations after the change of Venezuela’s leadership after the death of its former President Hugo Chavez,” he said.

“Venezuela is a very important partner for us,” Ushakov stressed. From among the Latin American countries, Venezuela is second only to Brazil in terms of cooperation with Russia. Trade turnover between the two countries in 2012 reached two billion U.S. dollars. Thanks to contracts in the military cooperation area, in January-April 2013 trade between Russia and Venezuela grew by 300 percent.

The Kremlin expects that the meeting between Putin and Maduro will be crowned by a number of bilateral agreements. However Ushakov did not elaborate on the subject.

Currently, Russia’s oil major Rosneft is cooperating with Venezuela on the Carabobo-2 and Junin-6 projects in the Orinoco Oil Belt, the Earth’s biggest oil-bearing province.

In May 2013, Rosneft and Venezuela’s PDVSA signed document on the establishment of the joint venture PetroVictoria to develop the Carabobo-2 oil block. The Carabobo-2 projects is made up of Carabobo-2 North and Carabobo-4 West blocks with reserves of 6.5 billion tons, or 40 billion barrels. The daily output here is expected to reach 400,000 barrels.

Rosneft is developing the Junin-6 field within the National Oil Consortium, which owns a 40 percent stake in the Russian-Venezuelan joint venture PetroVictoria. Oil production at the Junin-6 block started in September 2012. Planned daily oil production under the project is 450,000 barrels. The block’s oil reserves are estimated at 8.5 billion tons.

During his visit to Venezuela in January 2013, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said that Russian-Venezuelan companies plan to produce up to 50 million tons of oil a year in Venezuela. According to Sechin, Rosnfet’s investments in Venezuela’s oil projects, including Junin-6 and Carbobo-2, will reach ten billion U.S. dollars.

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