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Russia and Venezuela are to sign contracts worth $8 billion after a session of a bilateral intergovernmental commission
Russia and Venezuela are to sign contracts worth $8 billion after a session of a bilateral intergovernmental commission, Venezuelan media quoted the executive vice-president as saying on Thursday. The largest ever group of Russian businessmen to visit Venezuela, from 66 industries, is currently attending the fourth session of the high-level commission in Caracas, where over 12 joint large-scale projects are expected to be considered. "Relations between Russia and Venezuela are getting stronger every day, especially in the energy sphere, in the oil and gas production and processing industries," Jorge Rodriguez said. The Venezuelan official said President Hugo Chavez and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov, who heads the Russian delegation, would attend the session of the commission and sum up its work on Friday. A delegation of Russian energy giant Gazprom met with senior energy officials in Venezuela, Latin America's largest oil and gas producer, on October 12. "The parties discussed the prospects of Gazprom's participation in a project to certify reserves at deposits in the Orinoco Belt, as well as new offshore gas and infrastructure projects," the company said in a news release. Venezuela's outspoken socialist President Chavez, who has led opposition to U.S. influence in Latin America, has put all oil fields under the control of state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA). Foreign corporations working in the country have been offered the chance to set up joint ventures with PdVSA by transferring controlling stakes to the company.
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