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Venezuelan, Russian Presidents Discuss Energy, Arms


Chavez (right) visiting an assualt-rifle plant in Izhevsk on July 26 (AFP) July 27, 2006 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin met Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in the Kremlin today to discuss expanded economic and military cooperation.


Chavez thanked Russia for agreeing to supply Venezuela with military aircraft in a planned deal reportedly worth $1 billion. He said Russia was helping Venezuela to break U.S. efforts to disarm it.


The United States has criticized Russia's decision to sell Venezuela 30 fighter jets and 30 military helicopters.


Washington prohibits U.S. companies from selling weapons to Venezuela, saying the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists.


Chavez also called for increased Russian participation in gas and oil projects in Venezuela.


Putin wished Chavez success in Venezuela's December presidential election, in which Chavez plans to run for a second term.


(ITAR-TASS, Interfax)

Russian Arms Exports

Russia's advanced S-300 air-defense system (epa file photo)

BOOM TIMES: In 2005, Russia sold more than $6 billion in weapons to more than 60 countries around the world. The state arms exporter says it has $17 billion in orders in hand....(more)


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