Chávez, Russians' Latin nuke pact unchallenged

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Typical U.S. sword-rattling noticeably absent

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez says Russia will help his country build its first nuclear reactor in the northwestern province of Zulia.

"A nuclear reactor, to produce energy for peaceful purposes, will soon be built in Estado Zulia and named in honor of the Venezuelan scientist of the last century Humberto Fernandez Moran," Chávez told supporters in Maracaibo, the capital of Zulia state on Sunday, RIA Novosti reported.

"Brazil has several nuclear reactors, as does Argentina. We will also have our own reactor," he said. On Friday, Chávez revealed plans of broadening nuclear ties with Russia and said he would discuss the Issue with President Dmitry Medvedev during his visit of the Latin American country later this month.

Moscow and Caracas are expected to discuss large-scale cooperation projects in the energy sector, gas and petrochemical industries during the Russian president's November visit to Venezuela.

While the US and its NATO allies are eyeing eastward expansion in a bid to circle Russia, Moscow is strengthening ties with Latin America, the US backyard.

Chávez earlier said that Latin American countries need strong relations with Russia to reduce US influence in the region and maintain peace and stability.


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