Chávez in oil deal with China, arms deal with Russia

China and Venezuela signed 12 energy agreements in Beijing Sept. 25, calling for the South American country to export half a million barrels of oil a day to the Asian giant starting next year. The deal was signed on the final day of a three-day visit to China by Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez. The South American nation is the fifth exporter of crude oil in the world, but currently provides only 4% of Chinese imports of the product. The agreements also involve the construction of a new refinery in Venezuela with Chinese aid. (Radio Australia, Sept. 25)

Chávez then flew to Moscow, where Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he will loan Venezuela $1 billion to purchase Russian military hardware. He also said is ready to consider helping Venezuela develop a nuclear energy program. This was Chávez’s second trip to Russia in as many months. (VOA, Sept. 25)

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