Russia encourages closer ties with South Africa

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Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev pledged Thursday to strengthen ties with South Africa over issues including nuclear energy, after meeting President Jacob Zuma in Moscow.

"Relations with South Africa are essential, given the importance of both our countries on the international scene in the field of economic cooperation," Medvedev said in a statement broadcast on Russian television.

The Russian leader said Zuma's visit to Moscow should be an occasion for the two countries to establish a "strategic partnership in all fields."

They also signed a memorandum on plans to build a receiver station in South Africa for information from Russian satellites, and launch South African satellites by Russian rockets, the Russian federal space agency Roskosmos said, quoted by the news agency Ria Novosti.

In other areas of cooperation, Russian company Tekhnabexport signed a deal with Eskom Holding Ltd to supply enriched uranium to the South African electricity company.

"Russia will supply a quantity of uranium to South Africa corresponding to 45 percent of the South African market," the head of the Russian nuclear agency Rosatom said, quoted by Russian news agencies.

© 2010 AFP

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