Interview with Boris Martynov
Russia Today: You have just returned from the Russian Chamber of Commerce where Hugo Chavez addressed delegates. What was your impression of him? Is Chavez pleased with his visit to Russia?
Boris Martynov: I think so. But first of all I want to say that it's always very interesting to listen to him because Mr Chavez engages with the public very well. He's an excellent public speaker and it's always fascinating to listen to his use of words. Then I would like to say that in my point of view he is satisfied with his visit to Russia. He spoke about different strategic plans of co-operation which will be put in place in the future.
RT: What can Russia gain from a partnership with Venezuela?
B.M.: Well, first of all he mentioned such spheres as energy and petro-chemicals. Then he spoke about co-operation in areas like railways, infrastructure, bio-technologies, medicine and many other spheres. But above all he stressed the possibilities of co-operation in the oil industry and the extraction of natural gas and the co-operation of Russia in the construction of new oil and gas ducts and pipelines. Those plans are global, I would say, because they include the construction of a transcontinental Latin-American pipeline from Venezuela to Argentina. Now you could imagine the distances involved there – he is fond of his plans. He asked especially for Russian enterprises and Russian companies to get involved and help Venezuela to build those pipelines and gas ducts because of Russian companies' huge experience in this arena.
RT: How will Russia's friendship, so to speak, with Venezuela go down with other South American nations?
B.M.: Well, I think it may go rather smoothly. Why? Because Venezuela is now a member of different Latin-American associations and integration groups such as MERCOSUR, for example, which is a principal Latin-American economic group, which includes Brazil and Argentina, the biggest and the most influential countries in Latin America. So, by co-operating with Venezuela, we are opening up new possibilities of working with countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and so on and so forth. Bearing in mind Chavez' global plans for the construction of new gas ducts and pipelines – if Russia plays a major role in those enterprises it will raise our influence in Latin America.