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Press Release

Bolivia and Argentina Ramp Up
Nuclear, Aerospace, Energy Cooperation

October 2015

By Roberto Stuckert Filho/PR
[CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Bolivian President Evo Morales.

Oct. 21, 2015 (EIRNS)—Bolivia and Argentina signed a nuclear cooperation accord yesterday, the front-end of a high-level, day-long discussion of potential collaboration in various industrial and technological areas, which both governments see as critical for South America’s development as a whole.

"Bolivia recognizes Argentina’s regional technological leadership, and greatly appreciates that it approaches its neighbors ... because that is the beginning of the technological liberation of our peoples, which is necessary for their definitive political liberation,"

Bolivian President Evo Morales said at the signing ceremony.

Argentine Planning Minister Julio De Vido was given a hero’s welcome in Tarija, Bolivia, when he arrived for a full day of meetings with Morales, Bolivia’s Hydrocarbons and Energy Minister, and others. He was accompanied by the Argentine Defense Ministry’s Secretary of Science, Technology and Production, the president of ARSAT (Argentina’s satellite company), the president of the National Atomic Energy Commission, and the General Manager of the state high-tech company, INVAP.

Argentine Planning Minister Julio De Vido.

Under the nuclear accord, signed on the heels of the nuclear Memorandum of Understanding which Bolivia signed with Russia, Argentina will install a multipurpose nuclear reactor, built by INVAP, for Bolivia’s Nuclear Research Center. Its initial use is to be for medical purposes. De Vido emphasized that nuclear medicine is the best path for Bolivia to begin its nuclear development, as it "will benefit the poorest sectors of Bolivia, giving them access to medical centers near them which can diagnose and treat cancer and tumors."

In addition, negotiations continued on Argentina transferring a radar system which will allow Bolivia to exercise effective control of its airspace; Argentina’s satellite program was reviewed with an eye for how other countries of the region can be integrated into it; and an agreement was signed for Bolivia to sell to Argentina more natural gas and any excess electricity it may generate.

De Vido identified the strategic nature of their cooperation for South America’s sovereign development as a whole:

"We countries of the region are brother nations which understand that autonomously sharing and developing knowledge and technology is the key to true sovereignty.... This is an area of fraternal growth where we believe that countries of the region, such as ourselves, which have achieved certain technological milestones, have the responsibility to cooperate in developing that knowledge in our brother nations.... We understand that this technology transfer is necessary for the growth and technological development of the region."