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Russia, Bolivia to boost energy cooperation

The Russian top diplomat has held talks with his Bolivian counterpart

MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. Russia and Bolivia have good prospects for developing cooperation in the energy sector, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Bolivian counterpart Fernando Huanacuni Mamani.

"We have confirmed the focus of our countries on the comprehensive extension of partnership in all areas," he noted. "Our economic ties have a good potential. This is a very serious potential, judging by its volume." "And now we have confirmed very good perspectives in the energy industry sector," he added.

The Russian foreign minister reiterated that the previous July Gazprom and Bolivia's state-run oil and gas company had signed a protocol of intentions. "[The state corporation] Rosatom is completing negotiations over a whole number of contracts and a program of strategic cooperation in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes with the Bolivian side, including the construction of a nuclear research center with the use of Russian technologies," he continued. "Our energy companies are interested in supplying equipment for the thermal electric stations and hydroelectric stations that are under construction in Bolivia, as well as for modernization of the existing ones."

"With regard that Bolivia’s development plans include increase in the share of new energy sources, including the geothermal, solar and wind [energy], Rushydro is ready to present the corresponding technologies," Lavrov reported. "We’ve discussed this as well today. We believe that there is a lot of work to do here for our ministries and companies."

Negotiations also focused on the prospects of multilateral cooperation, including in the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, which is to convene this November in Bolivia, he said. "We will help our Bolivian friends in every possible way make this summit successful and make it form the next action plan aimed to provide a just balance of interests for gas producers and consumers," Lavrov stressed.

The Russian minister also pointed to the fact that "mutual interest for investment projects in the petrochemical industry, agriculture, transport and other areas has been preserved and is even growing, and the contacts between the Russian regions and Bolivia are strengthening."

Bolivia’s relations with Russia are expected to deepen in every sphere, Fernando Huanacuni Mamani said.

According to Huanacuni Mamani, during the Moscow talks, there was a discussion of cooperation in the energy sphere, including investment in mining projects. The parties also exchanged views on interaction between the two countries’ interior ministries and military cooperation, as well as on the fight against drug trafficking and ways to upgrade Bolivia’s vehicle fleet. Besides, the two ministers touched upon issues concerning sports and education, particularly ties between the two countries’ universities.

"We have had a thorough discussion of our bilateral relations, as we have several spheres of common interests," the Bolivian top diplomat said. "We came on a visit to Russia in order to deepen our bilateral relations, not only in trade, but also in connection with our movement towards a new multipolar world order," he added.