I hate to have to point out that my predictions are already coming true (see post: http://visionsfromthehorizon.blogspot.com/2008/11/and-wait-is-on.html) . I highlighted the specific parts of this article that I had mentioned back on election day in my predictions. Worth checking out. I don't claim to be a nostradamus but I certainly do believe I know what I'm talking about here. With a lot or research and a little common sense, I developed these simple but specific hypotheses...now we wait and watch. I still feel pretty confident on these predictions. I will hate to have to say "I was right", but I'm sure the day will come when unfortunately I will.
Russia to help Venezuela develop nuclear energy...
Russia to complete Iran nuclear plant in 2009...
Russia to help Venezuela develop nuclear energy
Nov 27 11:29 AM US/Eastern
By CHRISTOPHER TOOTHAKER
Associated Press Writer
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to help start a nuclear energy program in Venezuela and said Moscow is willing to participate in a socialist trade bloc in Latin America led by President Hugo Chavez.
Medvedev used his visit to Venezuela—the first by a Russian president—to extend Moscow's reach into Latin America and deepen trade and military ties. Chavez denied trying to provoke the United States, but he welcomed Russia's growing presence in Latin America as a reflection of declining U.S. influence.
Chavez and Medvedev planned to visit a Russian destroyer docked in a Venezuelan port on Thursday. The arrival of Russian warships this week for training exercises with Venezuela's navy was the first deployment of its kind in the Caribbean since the Cold War.
Accords signed Wednesday included one pledging cooperation in nuclear energy for peaceful uses. (Yeah right...Chavez and Venezuela have more oil than they know what to do with, I don't think they really need nuclear energy for "peaceful" reasons.) Russia also agreed to work with Venezuela in oil projects and building ships.
Moscow plans to develop a nuclear cooperation program with Venezuela by the end of next year, said Sergey Kirienko, head of the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency.
"We are ready to teach students in nuclear physics and nuclear engineering," he said through an interpreter. He said the help would include "research and development" and "looking for uranium in the territory of Venezuela."
Chavez says Venezuela hopes to build a nuclear reactor for energy purposes.
The Venezuelan leader—one of the world's most strident U.S. critics—thanked Medvedev for helping to create a "multi-polar" world with declining U.S. influence.
Medvedev called Venezuela "one of our most important partners in Latin America" and pledged to keep supplying the South American nation with weapons. But he said arms sales to Venezuela "are not aimed against any other country."
Chavez's government has already bought more than $4 billion in Russian arms, including Sukhoi fighter jets, helicopters and 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles.
Chavez had assembled a group of Latin American allies for talks hours before Medvedev's visit, and leaders including Bolivia's Evo Morales and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega joined them for a late-night meeting.
Medvedev said Russia is ready to "think about participating" in the Bolivarian Alernative for the Americas, likely as an associate member. Chavez launched the socialist trade bloc, named after South American independence hero Simon Bolivar, as an alternative to U.S.-backed free-trade pacts.
The Russian naval squadron deployed to the Caribbean includes the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko and the nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great, the largest in the Russian fleet.
The military show of force is widely seen as a demonstration of Kremlin anger over the U.S. decision to send warships to deliver aid to Georgia after its conflict with Russia, and over U.S. plans for a European missile-defense system.
But U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters in Washington on Wednesday that "a few Russian ships is not going to change the balance of power" in the region.
Medvedev was to finish his four-nation Latin American tour in Cuba.
Medvedev said he also discussed the global financial crisis with Chavez, and "exchanged different ideas of what actions to take in this situation." Chavez blames the financial crisis on U.S. free-market capitalism.
Russia to complete Iran nuclear plant in 2009 -Tass
Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:52pm IST
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will complete Iran's first nuclear power plant in 2009, Itar-Tass news agency quoted the head of Russia's state nuclear corporation as saying on Thursday.
The launch of the Bushehr plant's nuclear reactor has frequently been delayed. Russian and Iranian officials have given different dates for the start-up. Iran's foreign minister said last year the plant would launch in mid-2008.
Russia has already delivered nuclear fuel under a $1 billion contract to build the Bushehr plant on the Gulf coast in southwest Iran. Russia has blamed previous delays on problems with receiving payment from Iran.
"Work is ongoing and certain difficulties which arose, including those connected with timely financing, are being resolved due to joint efforts between the Iranian purchaser and the Russian contractor," Tass quoted Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia's Rosatom nuclear corporation, as saying.
"Next year we should conclude all the work," Kiriyenko was quoted as saying. Kiriyenko was in Caracas, Venezuela, accompanying President Dmitry Medvedev on a visit.
Russia agreed in 1995 to build the plant on the site of an earlier project begun in the 1970s by German firm Siemens. The Siemens project was disrupted by Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution and the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
"The position of Russia has not changed: that Bushehr should be finished as soon as possible," a spokesman for Rosatom said. "But that must not affect the security of the plant and the functioning of its systems."
"The main question is the integration of Russian equipment with the equipment delivered to the plant at Bushehr by the Germans," the spokesman said.
Atomstroyexport, the Russian firm building the plant, said in September the plant was nearing completion and that it would start "technological work" in December 2008 to February 2009 that would put the plant on an "irreversible final" course.
Analysts say Russia has used Bushehr as a lever in relations with Tehran, which is at loggerheads with the West over its nuclear programme.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has repeatedly said Moscow does not want Iran to be armed with nuclear weapons but that Russia has seen no evidence that Tehran is seeking to build atomic bombs.
Iran denies having a bomb programme and says it has the right to develop civilian nuclear power.
Russian and U.S. officials point to cooperation over Iran as an area where Moscow and Washington have been able to work together despite a general cooling of ties.