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U.S. Warns Russia Over Venezuela Arms Deal

Chavez (left) participated in a ceremony in the southern Russian city of Volgograd on July 25 (epa) July 26, 2006 -- The United States has said it hopes Russia will think again about its plans to sell military aircraft to Venezuela.

State Department Spokesman Tom Casey said on July 25 that Venezuela's planned arms purchases are not helpful for regional stability.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived in Russia on July 25 for a three-day visit.

During his visit he is expected to sign several arms deals, one of which is for 30 fighter jets and 30 helicopters, reportedly worth $1 billion.

Venezuela recently bought 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles from Russia.

Venezuela has dismissed U.S. concerns. Speaking on July 24, Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel said the United States "should not worry so much about Venezuela."

Chavez spent part of the day on July 26 in Izhevsk, the home of the Kalashnikov rifle.


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