President Vladimir Putin announced Russia will invest up to $1.5 billion in energy projects in Ecuador, The Voice of Russia reported Wednesday
. The Russian leader made his announcement after a meeting in Moscow the previous day with visiting Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa.
Russian energy giants including Rosnett and Gazprom have begun negotiations on drilling and exploration in Ecuador, and Correa touted the possibility that the two countries could work to develop oil and gas deposits in southeastern Ecuador and the Gulf of Guayaquil, the Moscow Times reported
“We began developing the Gulf of Guayaquil, but it turned out that it is much richer with natural resources than we thought,” Correa said after meeting with Putin. He added that Ecuador wants to work with Gazprom “because it is the largest gas company in the world.”
Correa said technological cooperation between the two countries was a top priority, and he is also interested in reaching an agreement to purchase air defense and other military items from Russia, the Times added. Ecuador is also said to be considering the purchase of helicopters and training aircraft.
Moscow also seeks to reset the balance of trade with Ecuador. Last year, Ecuador reportedly exported items worth $1.2 billion to Russian while importing goods worth slightly more than $116 million.
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