Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez reached a deal with Russia on Friday to build a nuclear power plant in the South American country and negotiated several other agreements in energy and other areas.
Russia has cultivated close ties with Chavez's government as part of its efforts to expand its global clout and counter U.S. influence in Latin America. "Our intentions are absolutely pure and open. We want our partner Venezuela to have a full range of energy possibilities," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said. "Even though the country is rich in oil and gas, it needs to develop new energy sources." (AP)