Moscow - Russia and Venezuela agreed Friday to jointly build what would be the South American country's first nuclear power plant.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez were on hand while representatives of the two countries signed the agreement.
The United States reacted to the deal with caution.
"Any new nuclear programme or activity should be conducted in accordance with the highest standards of nonproliferation - you know, safety and security, including IAEA safeguards," US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said.
"Venezuela and Russia have international obligations, and we expect them to meet those obligations."
Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the Russian nuclear company Rosatom, said that the power plant could go on stream within 10 years or less, according to the Interfax agency.