Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, left, and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin shake hands during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on Friday.
With a little help from its friends, Venezuela is now one step closer to building its first nuclear power plant. After a two-day stint in Moscow, President Hugo Chavez has received the support of Russia for the construction of a nuclear power station aimed at diversifying the country’s energy supply.
Russia has agreed to help Venezuela build its first nuclear power station, in a move that is likely to raise concerns in Washington about the increasingly close co-operation between Moscow and Caracas.
President Dmitry Medvedev announced the move at the end of a two-day visit to Moscow by Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez. Venezuela’s economy is overwhelmingly reliant on oil and Chávez has said he wants the nuclear power station to diversify energy supply.
A senior US administration spokesman said the White House was not planning to respond. A state department spokesman, PJ Crowley, said this week that there were no specific concerns about Venezuela’s nuclear ambitions. “Certainly nothing that rivals Iran,” he said.