Russia offers to assist Bolivia with nuclear energy program

La Paz, Jul 17 (EFE).- Russia's Vladimir Putin offered during talks with Bolivian President Evo Morales to assist the Andean nation in its plans to develop a peaceful nuclear energy program, Bolivia's economy minister said.

Luis Arce made the statements to Bolivian state radio from Brazil, where he joined Morales for a Union of South American Nations-BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa) summit on Wednesday.

Russia offered both assistance with nuclear energy technology transfers and permanent training for Bolivian technicians in various stages of the program, Arce said.

Putin said his country also is open to cooperating with Bolivia on installing thermoelectric and hydroelectric plants and to Russian companies carrying out those projects in the South American nation, the economy minister said.

The leftist Morales says he plans to develop a peaceful nuclear energy program if he is elected to a third term in the Oct. 12 presidential election.

The Bolivian government has already sought assistance from Argentina and France with a view to launching that alternative energy program.