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Russia and Argentina Sign $5B in Energy Deals

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Russia and Argentina signed deals which amounted to an "all-encompassing strategic partnership" during Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's visit to Moscow. Russia and Argentina signed a total of nearly $5 billion in deals on developing hydroelectric, nuclear and fossil-based energy, as well as to consider using each other's currencies in trade.

The deals are a massive breakthrough for economic relations between Russia and Argentina. Russian President Putin called the negotiations rich and fruitful.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said the two sides agreed to conduct thorough consultations on using national currencies in trade calculations instead of US dollars.

A $2 billion deal was signed to build a new hydroelectric dam and will consider switching to national currencies for mutual deals. Russia's VEB bank will provide $1.2 billion of the total investments needed, 35 percent of which will be used to pay Argentine subcontractors. In addition, Russia will provide Argentina with access to Russian nuclear power technology. The deal will be completed by the end of the year. The head of Russian nuclear power plant company Rosatom declined to give an estimate to the deals, saying that one bloc costs "billions of dollars."

Russian energy giant Gazprom signed a deal to explore and develop gas fields with Argentine state gas company YPF. The deal may amount to $1 billion in investments according to Argentina's Minister of Industry. Russian company Uralmash will also construct a plant which will manufacture oil extraction equipment, which will amount to an additional $1.9 billion in Russian investments.

Putin also said that Russia and Argentina will cooperate in the military-technical sphere and pledged to accelerate the construction of GLONASS satellite navigation systems in Argentina. Putin added that Russia supports Argentina in the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands dispute.

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