Venezuela to Develop Nuclear Energy With Russian Help (Update1)
By Daniel Cancel
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Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) — Venezuela President Hugo Chavez said the South American country plans to develop a nuclear energy program with Russia and doesn’t want to build an atomic bomb.
Chavez said that the country’s oil and gas reserves won’t last forever and the government will seek alternative energy sources. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin agreed to help Venezuela’s nuclear energy program during a meeting in Moscow last week, Chavez said.
“We’re not going to make an atomic bomb, so don’t bother us like with Iran,” he said on state television. “We’re going to develop nuclear energy with peaceful purposes.”
Chavez is a close ally of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who’s under international sanctions for continuing with the country’s nuclear energy program under suspicions by the U.S. and its allies that Iran is working toward making atomic weapons.
Robert Morgenthau, New York’s District Attorney, said last week that Venezuela may be helping Iran skirt sanctions imposed by the United Nations and the U.S. by transfering funds through the Venezuelan financial system.
To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Cancel in Caracas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated: September 13, 2009 17:56 EDT