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Montevideo, July 13th 2024 - 21:44 UTC

 

 

Bolivian President outlines scope of partnership with Russia

Wednesday, June 12th 2024 - 14:21 UTC
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University of St Petersburg experts will be moving to Bolivia to teach the language in a move to further strengthen ties between the two countries University of St Petersburg experts will be moving to Bolivia to teach the language in a move to further strengthen ties between the two countries

Bolivian President Luis Arce Catacora reviewed with his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin the joint lithium and nuclear projects with which the South American country consolidates its position from a geopolitical and strategic viewpoint given the presence of Iranian facilities and equipment. Arce told reporters in La Paz Tuesday that all these matters were discussed during his recent meeting with the Russian leader in St. Petersburg on the occasion of the International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in the former imperial capital.

According to Arce, the project involving Russia's Uranium One company regarding direct lithium extraction in Bolivian salt flats “must start operating in 2025” while that company and the state-owned Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) “are going to take all the necessary measures to achieve this.”

The same will happen in the case of the Center for Research and Development in Nuclear Technology (CIDNTN) set up in the city of El Alto, neighboring La Paz, and whose operation contemplates three phases, the president recalled. The first phase was the nuclear medicine and radiotherapy center inaugurated in 2022 and the second, the irradiation center for seed improvement and pest control launched last year, Arce also explained.

“These are the two stages that are complete and we have the third stage, which is the tempering of the nuclear reactor. Undoubtedly this is the most delicate and the longest. And we have also agreed with President Vladimir Putin that this project will be completed by June 2025,” he added. Hence, the entire nuclear complex is expected to be “fully operational by the middle of next year.”

Other agreements reached between Arce and Putin include Russian support for Bolivia's purchase of liquid hydrocarbons to ensure domestic supply, and the expansion of the South American nation's export “commercial base” to the Russian market with products such as coffee, pineapple, quinoa, heart of palm and chocolate, among others.

Arce also pointed out that Russia was willing to supply medicines to Bolivia. Moscow also offered scholarships for Bolivians wanting to study in that country, including a year to learn the language while teachers from the University of St. Petersburg are to work at the Bolivian state language institute to further develop these allignments.

Cooperation with Russia will also reach sports to improve the performance of Bolivian athletes, Arce also explained.

During his participation at the St. Petersburg forum, Arce spoke about the so-called “Social Community Productive Economic Model” he developed with other leftist economists to be implemented in Bolivia under the ruling Movement Towards Socialism (MAS).

With this model, Bolivia was “showing the world” that it is possible to have economic development and “reduction of poverty and inequalities” in an adverse world context.

Bolivia and Russia have a strong political affinity that has even led the South American country to abstain from voting in the United Nations resolutions regarding the condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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