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Russia to build nuclear power station in Venezuela

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (L) greets his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez during their meeting in Moscow, October 15, 2010. REUTERS/Natalia Kolesnikova/Pool

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia agreed on Friday to build Venezuela’s first nuclear power station after talks between Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Hugo Chavez in the Kremlin.

Russian nuclear agency chief Sergei Kiriyenko and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro signed a deal on “the construction and use of an atomic power station on the territory of Venezuela,” after the talks.

Chavez, who rules South America’s biggest oil producer, has said he wants the nuclear power station to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Medvedev hinted that Chavez’s foe, the United States, might not like the deal, but said that it was peaceful.

“A deal in the atomic sphere has just been signed. I already know that it will make someone shudder. The president (of Venezuela) told me that there will states who will have different types of emotions about this,” Medvedev said.

“I would like to underline that our intentions are clean and open: we want our partner the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to have the full range of energy choices, to have energy independence,” he said.

Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk, writing by Guy Faulconbridge, editing by Toni Vorobyova