Putin to hold full-format talks with Venezuela’s Maduro in Moscow

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MOSCOW, December 5. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold full-format talks with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Moscow on Wednesday.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier told reporters the talks would be held with restricted attendance first and then will be expanded. The Russian delegation will include Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, Economic Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin.

New measures of economic support

Issues of trade and economic cooperation traditionally top the Russian-Venezuelan agenda. The two nations closely cooperate in economy and trade, with last year’s turnover estimated at $68.4 million. The figure almost doubled in January-September 2018, year-on-year, to $79.4 billion.

Russia and Venezuela run joint projects in the energy sector, agriculture, geological prospecting, pharmaceutical industry, information and communications technologies, defense industry and other spheres. Russia’s aggregated investment in Venezuela exceeds $4.1 billion.

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday the issue of providing extra aid to Venezuela can be raised during the talks.

“Practical aid is provided to the Venezuelan side on a regular basis. The issue [concerning help] will be definitely put forward this time,” he said.

Energy cooperation

Cooperation in the energy sphere will also be among the topics discussed, Ushakov said.

“Further steps to reinforce interaction on global oil and gas markets are anticipated to be discussed in the context of presidency of Venezuela in OPEC and GECF forthcoming in 2019,” Ushakov said, adding that efficient joint work in OPEC+ format “made a significant contribution to stabilization of the global market of hydrocarbons.”

Russian oil major Rosneft is currently implementing five oil projects in Venezuela with total production of 9 mln tonnes per year, or 7% of the country’s overall oil output. According to Venezuelan Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo, the national oil and gas company PDVSA plans more projects with Rosneft, one of Venezuela’s biggest investors. At present, the companies run several joint projects in oil prospecting and extraction in Venezuela, known as Petromiranda, Petrovictoria, Petromonagas, Boqueron and Petroperija.

Furthermore, Russia’s Inter RAO completed the contract on supply of thirteen gas turbine units for Venezuelan power plants in November.

Agriculture and industry

According to Ushakov, other package of issues to be addressed by Putin and Maduro is cooperation in industry and agriculture.

“Agriculture is an important area of joint work. Supplies of Russian grain to Venezuela are being conducted on a regular basis: this year, Prodintorg and the United Grain Corporation have shipped about 250,000,” Ushakov said.

According to the Kremlin aide, Russian truck maker Kamaz keeps developing its cooperation with Venezuelan companies. Among other things, Kamaz delivered over 340 of its trucks to Venezuela, organized assembly lines at four Venezuelan plants and is now building five servicing centers in the country.

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