Belarus, Venezuela Call for Multipolar World, Expand Cooperation in Oil Sector

Text of report by Belarusian privately-owned news agency Belapan

Minsk, 23 July: Belarus and Venezuela will increase cooperation in the energy sector and aim at the creation of a multipolar world, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said the final joint communique signed in Minsk on 23 July.

The talks in Minsk have once again "demonstrated the concurrence of views on the solution of the problems and challenges that Belarus and Venezuela encounter in their striving for the creation of a multipolar world based on such principles as solidarity, cooperation and mutual respect", they said.

Belarusian and Venezuelan presidents believe that "obtruding certain models for social and political development from abroad against the will of the nation and resorting to the policy of double standard pose a threat to any nation's security".

According to the communique, "multi-polarity and acknowledging nations' right to independently choose their social and political system" can guarantee social justice.

Lukashenka and Chavez especially emphasized the need "to respect any country's independence, to ban the use of force or threats aimed against territorial integrity and not to interfere with any state's domestic affairs".

They said in the communique said that during the meeting which "took place in a friendly and sincere atmosphere" the presidents "exchanged opinions on a wide range of international problems and on the issues of mutually beneficial bilateral and multilateral cooperation".

"The presidents paid special attention to the energy, financial and food crises that pose a great threat to the nations' stability and development," the document said.

As a result of the talks, the republican unitary oil company Belorusneft and the joint stock company Venezuelan Oil Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding. It provides for allocating new oil fields to the Belarusian-Venezuelan joint venture Petrolera BeloVenezolana.

Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Uladzimir Syamashka said that the new oil fields will help double the capacities of the joint venture. "We have potential to produce 2m tons of oil next year," Syamashka said.

Originally published by Belapan news agency, Minsk, in Russian 1427 23 Jul 08.