Russia makes deals with Venezuela, Bolivia
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While the United States is in hot water for funding Columbia $6 billion partially spent on a massacre of 2,000 civilians, Russia is also playing its hand in Latin America, providing aid to U.S. rival Hugo Chavez in Venezuela as well as the Bolivian government.
Moscow is lending Bolivia $100 million to buy Russian helicopters. They are giving a $2.2 million dollar loan to Chavez, and they are pledging to continue supporting Venezuelan national defense. Venezuela has bought $4 billion worth of Russian weapons since 2005.
Read more in the three articles below...
MEXICO CITY -- A delegation of top-ranking Bolivian officials will visit Moscow on April 26 for talks on energy, military and industrial cooperation, Bolivian President Evo Morales has said.
"The delegation will include heads of leading ministries, who are to discuss and sign intergovernmental agreements with their Russian colleagues," Morales said after returning to La Paz from the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, where he met with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
"We take as a premise that Russia should return to Latin America, and that is why [we] are positively seeking to expand diplomatic, economic, and trade relations with Moscow," the Bolivian leader said.
After the meeting with Putin, which was initiated by the Bolivian side, Morales told journalists that Moscow had agreed to lend Bolivia $100 million to buy Russian helicopters to help tackle drug trafficking.
He also said considerable progress had been made in enhancing bilateral cooperation in the energy sphere.
The Russian prime minister arrived in Venezuela on Friday for talks on a range of issues including military-technical cooperation and joint business projects primarily in the energy sphere.
After talks with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Putin said Russia was ready to grant Venezuela a $2.2-bln loan, which Chavez had requested during his visit to Moscow last year.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that Russia is ready to loan $2.2 billion to Venezuela.
"Our Finance Ministry have considered Venezuela's request for a $2.2-bln loan...and I informed the Venezuelan president today that Russia is ready to give this loan [to Venezuela]," Putin said at a joint news conference with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas.
Washington earlier expressed concern that the money loaned by Russia could be used by Caracas for purchases of sophisticated military equipment but Russian deputy finance minister Dmitry Pankin said on Friday the loan was not tied to arms purchases.
Since 2005, Venezuela has already bought $4 billion worth of Russian weapons, including warplanes, helicopters, and Kalashnikov assault rifles.
Chavez said on Saturday Venezuela may buy at least one Be-200 amphibious aircraft to fight devastating forest fires in the country.
However, earlier reports said that Caracas wanted to buy 92 T-72 tanks and an unspecified number of Smerch multiple rocket launchers from Russia, among other military equipment, with the new loan.
CARACAS, April 3 (RIA Novosti)
Russia will continue deliveries of military equipment to Venezuela to help the Latin American country boost its national defense, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Saturday.
"We will continue to support the development of the armed forces of Venezuela. As you know, Russia has already delivered the most efficient Su-30 heavy fighters and other military equipment to Venezuela," Putin said at a joint news conference after a meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas.
At least part of this loan could be used for the purchase of over 90 T-72 tanks and an unspecified number of Smerch multiple rocket launchers, or even diesel-powered submarines and S-300 air defense systems.
Since 2005, Venezuela has bought $4 billion worth of Russian weapons, including warplanes, helicopters, and Kalashnikov assault rifles.
No new military-technical agreements were signed on Friday but Russia delivered the last four of 38 Mi-17 military transport helicopters earlier purchased by Venezuela.
Chavez, whose domestic and international policies have been lately criticized by the country's opposition, says Venezuela needs to boost its defenses to protect its oil riches from a possible U.S. attack.
CARACAS, April 3 (RIA Novosti)
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