Russian companies may invest $1bn in Venezuelan mining projects
Russian miners are interested in mining gold and diamonds in Venezuela and may invest up to $1 billion for mining projects in the country, Russian media reported as the leaders of the two countries met in Moscow on Wednesday.
“According to Venezuela’s estimates, Russian investments may reach around $1 billion,” documents for the talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro read, as cited by TASS.
During Maduro’s previous visit to Russia, in December 2018, the two countries signed a memorandum of cooperation in geology and mineral resources, allowing Russian firms to mine in the Bolivarian Republic.
Various US sanctions against Venezuela did not stop Russia from taking part in joint exploration and production projects. For example, Russia’s major oil company Rosneft cooperates with Venezuela’s state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, jointly developing five energy projects. Overall geological reserves in the joint ventures amount to 80 million tons of oil. Other companies such as Gazprom Neft, Gazprom and Inter RAO are also involved in energy projects in the country.
The two countries also enjoy promising industrial cooperation, with Russia’s Kamaz delivering trucks, bus chassis and spare parts to the country. Russia also supplies the South American state with grain. Last year, more than 254,000 tons worth $57 million were exported, and there are plans to more than double the shipments to reach 600,000 tons in 2019.
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In January, the Trump administration slapped Venezuela’s oil sector with sanctions. Oil production accounts for most of the country’s revenues. At the same time, Washington vocally supports opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president and has been calling for the ousting of elected President Nicolas Maduro.
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