A new gas cartel?

Meanwhile, Chávez continued what he has jokingly called his 11-day “evil axis” tour by paying a visit to Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko. The two were expected to discuss trade deals including the inclusion of Belarus in a forum of natural gas exporters similar to OPEC.

The visit to Belarus comes one day after Chávez invited Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov to join the fledgling cartel, which Chavez hopes will counterbalance Western political and economic clout. And it comes two days after Chávez struck a deal with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to import fuel to the country at a time when the West is considering sanctions against Iran.

“Venezuela has agreed to export 20,000 barrels of petrol daily to Iran from October in a deal worth $800 millon,” Chávez was quoted as saying by Iranian media. The arrangement could be key for Iran, which imports some 40 percent of its fuel. It could offset sanctions the US and Europe have threatened to impose on Iran if more progress is not made in efforts to resolve questions over Iran’s nuclear program. Source: The Christian Science Monitor. By. Ton.

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