Venezuela to buy arms worth $5 bn from Russia

April 6th, 2010 - 12:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, April 6 (IANS/EFE) Venezuela will buy new arms from Russia valued at more than $5 billion, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said.
“Our delegation has just returned from Venezuela and the total amount of purchases could exceed $5 billion,” Putin said Monday at a meeting here on the development of the country’s arms industry.

This includes the $2.2 billion loan that Russia will provide to Venezuela for the acquisition of new Russian weapons, the premier said.

The agreement was reached last week with the government of Hugo Chavez during the visit of a Russian delegation to Caracas.

Venezuela, which since 2005 has purchased $4.4 billion worth of Russian arms, has become the Russian defence industry’s biggest customer in Latin America evoking concern from neighbouring Colombia and the US.

Venezuela has already bought 100,000 assault rifles, 24 Su-30MK2 fighter-bombers and 51 helicopters under the agreement.

A plant to manufacture Kalashnikov rifles and another one to make ammunition will also be built.

Venezuela is also planning to buy three Varshavianka-class submarines, 92 T-72 tanks, several BMP-3 armoured vehicles, 10 Mi-28N combat helicopters, Il-114 patrol airplanes and air defence systems, Russian sources said.

–IANS/EFE

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