Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met his Bolivian counterpart Fernando Huanacuni Mamani on August 16 agreeing to boost cooperation in the energy sector, including gas, nuclear and renewables.
“We have confirmed the focus of our countries on the comprehensive extension of partnership in all areas,” TASS quoted Lavrov as saying. “Our economic ties have a good potential. This is a very serious potential, judging by its volume,” Russia’s top diplomat said. “And now we have confirmed very good perspectives in the energy industry sector,” he added.
Lavrov reminded that the previous July Russian gas monopoly Gazprom and Bolivia’s state-run oil and gas company had signed a protocol of intentions.
Turning to nuclear, Lavrov also reiterated that Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom is completing negotiations over a whole number of contracts and a programme 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.
“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 modernisation of the existing ones,” Lavrov said.
“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 said. “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,” the Russian state news agency quoted Lavrov as saying.
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”.
For his part, Bolivia’s Foreign Minister said his country’s relations with Russia are expected to deepen in every sphere. During the Moscow talks, there was a discussion of cooperation in the energy sphere, including investment in mining projects, he said.