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Argentina, Russia continue talks on Chihuido HPP — Russian official

A source in the Russian delegation told TASS that the prolonged process of talks is mostly due to "technical issues"

BUENOS AIRES, November 2. /TASS/. Argentina and Russia continue talks on the implementation of the project of constructing the Chihuido I hydro power plant (HPP), Sergey Dankvert, head of the Russian agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor, told Russian journalists on Wednesday.

"The talks still continue, it is too early to talk about this (halting the project)," Dankvert, who heads the Russian delegation at the 12th session of the Russian-Argentine inter-governmental commission, said. "I know that the Ministry of Finance held relevant talks, and these talks may continue," he added.

A source in the Russian delegation told TASS that the prolonged process of talks is mostly due to "technical issues." "One cannot explicitly say that the Argentine side wants something new, or that the Russian side wants to change something radically," Dankvert said. "No principally new changes in the implementation of the project are planned," he noted.

The Argentine newspaper "Clarin" earlier reported that Buenos Aires plans to send a delegation to China to look for possible financing instead of the Russian VEB bank. Argentine Minister of Economy and Public Finances Alfonse Prat-Gay told Bloomberg earlier that financial conditions suggested by Russia ceased to be attractive after Argentina recovered from default, and Buenos Aires is now discussing alternative proposals.

Around 20 agreements between Russia and Argentina were signed in April last year during Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s visit to Moscow, including the contract on fulfilling the project of the Chihuido I HPP. Russian Inter RAO - Export was appointed as a subcontractor in delivering electrical and hydro power equipment for the project. Moscow and Buenos Aires also discussed the possibility of Vnesheconombank’s (VEB) allocation of 85% of investment worth $2.6 billion.