Russia, Venezuela to build nuclear power plant

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Russia and Venezuela sealed an agreement Friday to build a nuclear power station in Venezuela.

In announcing the agreement, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told a press conference after talks with his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez here that "our intentions are absolutely pure and open".

The power plant plan was initiated when Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited Caracas in April.

In another deal finalized Friday, Russia's TNK-BP oil company will acquire some assets of BP in Venezuela.

"We are moving on to new agreements on a wide range of projects. We are strategic partners and close friends," said Medvedev prior to his closed-door talks with Chavez.

Russian oil giant Rosneft meanwhile agreed to acquire 50 percent of a stake held by Venezuela's PdVSA in the German company Ruhr Oel GMBH.

In total ten agreements have be signed by the two sides.

Hailing changes in bilateral relations as "tectonic," Medvedev said he and Chavez had also discussed international and regional issues, the situation in Latin America and partnership development.

"We want our partner -- the Bolivarian republic of Venezuela -- to have an entire range of energy opportunities, to have energy independence, and to have internal mechanisms for self-development," Medvedev said.

The discussion also touched upon cooperation in space, high technologies and the pharmaceutical industry, Medvedev said, adding he hoped the two countries could also develop infrastructure projects.

He also praised his colleague for recognizing the independence of Georgia's two breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in July, and called Chavez "a real friend."

Medvedev said both countries supported the "modern and just" world order.

During his visit to Moscow, which started Thursday, Chavez also laid a founding stone on the site where a monument to Simon Bolivar would be erected. The Venezuelan leader arrived there in a red Russian-made Lada Priora car.

Chavez's visit to Russia is part of an international tour that will also take him to Belarus, Ukraine and Iran.

The last time Chavez paid a visit to Russia was in September 2009, after an official announcement of the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

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