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Mercosur Wants to Expand Cooperation With Eurasian Economic Union

© Sputnik / Grigoriy Sisoev / Go to the photo bankArgentine Ambassador to Russia Pablo Tettamanti
Argentine Ambassador to Russia Pablo Tettamanti - Sputnik International
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Argentine Ambassador to Russia Pablo Anselmo Tettamanti says the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is an important partner for Argentina, and Mercosur wants to continue developing cooperation with their Eurasian partners. He also added that Russia is discussing new investment opportunities with Argentina.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Mercosur countries see the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) as an important partner and will continue to develop cooperation with it, Argentine Ambassador to Russia Pablo Anselmo Tettamanti told RIA Novosti.

According to the ambassador, Argentina facilitated significant progress in reaching an agreement between Mercosur and the Eurasian Economic Union in the last six months of 2014. A number of meetings held in Moscow and Buenos Aires have led to the creation of a draft cooperation agreement in the economic and trade spheres between the two regional trading blocs.

"The EEU is an important partner for us and we are certain that Mercosur will continue along the line of cooperation development. A memorandum on mutual understanding will allow us to sit down and discuss in more detail what exactly we want to achieve," Tettamanti told RIA Novosti.

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The EEU's goal is to ensure economic integration among member states, including the free flow of goods, services, capital and labor. Mercosur pursues similar objectives.

Founded in 1991, Mercosur is a sub-regional economic bloc that includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. Its associate countries are Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

The agreement on the establishment of the EEU, signed by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan last spring, came into effect on January 1. The bloc also includes Armenia and Kyrgyzstan is set to become a member in May.

A month ago, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Nebenzya said that some 40 countries have officially expressed interest in creating a free-trade zone with the EEU.

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Argentine Ambassador also said Russia is discussing new investment opportunities with Argentina, particularly in the energy sector.

According to Tettamanti, Russia's future investments in the energy sector could be "very substantial."

The latest research indicates that Argentina has large offshore oil and gas reserves, the ambassador said.

"This opens new opportunities for the building of relations in the medium and long-term perspectives, because the energy sector is a sphere where there is no room for short-term projects. At the same time the energy sector allows for investments in other spheres, such as transport and equipment," Tettamanti said.

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According to the ambassador, Russian corporations could also get involved in energy projects in Argentina, such as the building of power stations, in particular, the Atucha nuclear power plant located in Lima, Buenos Aires.

Head of Russia's Rosatom nuclear energy corporation Sergei Kirienko announced last year that the company was interested in helping to build the fifth Atucha power plant.

Kirienko signed an intergovernmental agreement on peaceful nuclear energy cooperation with Argentine Planning and Public Investment Minister Julio Miguel de Vido in July 2015. The previous accord expired in December 2012.

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