Russia Cements Trade Ties with Namibia


"Rosatom had discovered more than 6,000 tons of uranium in areas it was exploring in Namibia."

President Dmitry Medvedev travelled to Namibia yesterday, the first visit to the southern African country by a Russian head of state, in pursuit of deals on natural gas, minerals and uranium.

Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev said yesterday that Russian investment in the country could amount to several billion dollars. Trutnev added that Namibia was interested in developing its hydro and nuclear power capacity.

Executives from Russian companies—including diamond monopoly Alrosa, subsidiaries of natural gas exporter Gazprom and Vnesheconombank, the state development bank—accompanied Medvedev on his two-day trip, the third leg in a four-country tour that began in Egypt on Tuesday.

Medvedev was expected to meet his Namibian counterpart, Hifikepunye Pohamba, yesterday. The two countries will sign agreements on banking, protection of investments and fisheries, according to documents distributed by the Kremlin.

Namibia's state-owned oil company, Namcor, will sign an agreement with Gazprombank, the lending arm of Russia's natural gas exporter, according to The Namibian, citing Sam Beukes, Namcor's managing director. Beukes declined to elaborate on the deal, according to the Windhoek-based newspaper.

Armz Uranium Holding, the mining arm of Rosatom, Russia's nuclear energy holding, is also represented in Windhoek.

Rosatom had discovered more than 6,000 tons of uranium in areas it was exploring in Namibia, said chief executive Sergei Kiriyenko.

The company forecast that reserves at its Namibian operations would climb from 20,000 tons to 30,000 tons, Kiriyenko said.

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