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Russia and Nigeria to sign Space, Nuclear, Gas agreements

June 25, 2009 • Top Stories

DmitryMedvedev.jpgPresident Dmitry Medvedev will oversee the signing of major gas, space and nuclear agreements during his visit to Nigeria, this according to a report in Moscow Times.

Medvedev left Egypt on Wednesday afternoon for Nigeria, the second destination on his four-country African tour aiming to establish a bigger business presence in the resource-rich continent.

Federal Space Agency chief Anatoly Perminov said the expected agreement with Nigeria covered space cooperation in seven areas, including telecoms, navigation and geological research.

“Everything but sending up pilots,” he said, RIA-Novosti reported.

Medvedev and his delegation of officials and businessmen landed in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on Wednesday evening for the first-ever visit there by a Russian president.

Sergei Prikhodko, Medvedev’s top foreign policy aide, told reporters that Gazprom and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation would sign a record gas deal, with the Russian company investing up to $2.5 billion into a Nigerian joint venture. The companies will have equal stakes in the venture, which will engage in research, extraction and transporting gas, he said.

Gazprom had previously discussed the possibility of participating in the construction of a pipeline across the Sahara Desert, as well as pipeline infrastructure in Nigeria. The trans-Sahara link would connect Nigeria with Algeria’s export system, making it possible to send Nigerian gas to Europe.

Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko said he also expected a series of nuclear energy cooperation agreements in Nigeria, including Russia’s possible participation in construction of a nuclear power plant and uranium exploration.

“It’s a chance for us to stake out a claim for the territory,” he said, regarding uranium exploration on lands that have not yet been explored, Interfax reported.

Medvedev is scheduled to visit Namibia and Angola next, the first time a Russian leader will have traveled to either country. The Russian delegation includes Natural Resources and Environment Minister Yury Trutnev, Federal Fisheries Agency head Andrei Krainy, Vneshekonombank chief Vladimir Dmitriyev and executives from major companies including Alrosa, Gazprom Neft and Intourist.

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