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    Russian deputy PM returns to Nicaragua for energy, trade talks

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    Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin continues his Latin American tour on Tuesday with his third visit to Nicaragua in the past 12 months.

    MANAGUA (Nicaragua), July 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin continues his Latin American tour on Tuesday with his third visit to Nicaragua in the past 12 months.

    Sechin is expected to discuss joint projects in electricity generation, increasing bilateral trade, and oil exploration in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans with the country's leftist president, Daniel Ortega, Russia's ambassador to Managua said.

    "We are currently holding discussions on a whole range of areas of energy cooperation," Igor Kondrashev said, singling out the construction of a hydroelectric power station.

    "In Nicaragua there are very good prospects for prospecting and extracting oil on the Atlantic and Pacific shelves," the ambassador added.

    Sechin is accompanied by Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko and top fisheries official Andrei Krainy, with increased Nicaraguan exports of seafood to Russia also on the agenda.

    Russia's ties with Nicaragua were boosted last year when the Central American country became the only country to join Moscow in recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    On Monday, Sechin met with Russia's top regional ally, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, with the sides concluding a range of economic deals and signing an agreement to set up an intergovernmental commission on military-technical cooperation.

    Venezuela has spent billions of dollars on weapons from Russia in recent years, and the president said last week that Caracas and Moscow were in talks on the purchase of Russian T-90 main battle tanks among other military equipment.

    The economic deals include an agreement between Russian energy giant Gazprom and Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) on a joint venture in oil and gas services, the setting up of a JV in pottery manufacture involving the construction of five factories, and a pact on fisheries cooperation.

     

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