Chávez does Moscow, seeks "strategic alliance"
On July 22, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez Frias met with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow as the two countries signed agreements for joint work on energy projects in Venezuela. Chávez said the accords would promote "a strategic alliance in the energy sector." Venezuela and Russia have "a perfect identity in their foreign policy lines," he said. "If the Russian armed forces want to be in Venezuela, they'll be welcomed warmly."
Chávez added that he intended to pursue military cooperation with Russia in response to the "aggressive plans" of the US. In recent years Venezuela has bought arms worth an estimated $4 billion from Russia. This was Chávez's sixth visit to Russia since 2001, although the first since Medvedev became president. Previous visits were with former president Vladimir Putin, who is now Medvedev's prime minister. (La Jornada, July 23 from correspondent)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Aug. 3