Chavez (right) and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on July 27, 2006 (epa)
February 2, 2007 -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has confirmed plans to buy missiles from Russia as part of a long-standing weapons upgrade.
Chavez, a fierce U.S. critic, has said that the purchase of Russian missiles was imminent. He said the missiles would be used to defend oil installations.
Venezuela, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, has benefited from a surge in crude prices.
In 2006, the country bought from Russia 24 Sukhoi 30 jet fighters, 53 MI-24 military helicopters and 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles.