Bolivian leader seeks gas deal in Moscow

Evo Morales has become the first Bolivian President to visit Russia, after touching down in Moscow. The visit is being viewed as another sign of Russia's increased interest in Latin America.

New gas deals are the first matter on the diplomatic agenda. Russia's energy giant, Gazprom, is set to invest $US 3 billion to develop new fields in Bolivia.

And a few weeks ago, President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow is ready to take part in a project to build a gas pipeline linking Bolivia with Argentina.

Bolivia holds second place, after Venezuela, for gas reserves in Latin America.
In May 2006, Morales signed a decree to nationalise the country's gas industry.

The Bolivian leader is also seeking help in fighting illegal drugs in his country after suspending the work of the U.S. anti-drug agency there.

Medvedev and Morales first met at an ALBA meeting in Caracas last November when the Russian leader was touring Latin America.