MOSCOW, March 11. /TASS/. Bolivia’s President Evo Morales is hopeful that the nuclear research center built with participation of Russia’s state-run Rosatom nuclear energy corporation will become the largest in Latin America, he told the Russian Rossiya 24 channel on Friday.
"Our neighbors have established the centers like this, so we have to try to catch up with them," Morales said.
"However, as it was said, it will be the most advanced and - as we hope - the largest center in the region," he said. "And we have the right to do so as these research centers work for the benefit of the whole humankind."
Morales noted that Russia’s economic projects in Latin America play a great part in the region’s growth.
"I would like to point out that Russia’s presence is a matter of importance not only for Bolivia but for the whole Latin America. This presence is manifested in investments and transfers of technology and in cooperation as well," he went on to say.
"We greet Russia, its president, government and people and admire them as they are changing Bolivia’s face," Morales said.
Bolivia’s head of state said that since 2005 the government had increased investments into the economy 14 times.
"In 2005 the amount of governmental investments was below $600mln but this year our country - home to ten million people - plans to invest $8.3blm," he said.
The growth had become possible due to "return of our own natural resources."
"Today we feel better than any other nation in Latin America," Morales said in conclusion, noting that investments from Russia and China "are evidence that a big future lies ahead for Bolivia."
On March 6, Russia and Bolivia have signed intergovernmental agreements on cooperation in the area of peaceful use of nuclear energy and on cooperation in the construction of a nuclear research and technology center in the city of El Alto at an altitude of 4,100 meters above sea level.
Bolivia plans to allocate 300 million U.S. dollars to this project which will be implemented along with Rosatom.
Earlier, Rosatom head Sergey Kiriyenko had said that Russia expected to ink a package of contracts on construction of the nuclear research and technology center in Bolivia until late June.