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Hugo Chavez said he was looking forward to his trip to Russia as part of a grand Eurasian tour later this month
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he was looking forward to his trip to Russia as part of a grand Eurasian tour later this month. Speaking on the "Hello, President!" television show, Chavez said he attached a lot of importance to his three-day visit, to start June 28 and include the southern city Rostov-on-Don, as well as Moscow. Russian business daily Kommersant said last week that during his visit to Russia, Chavez could finalize a deal to purchase Russian diesel submarines for the Venezuelan Navy. The contract reportedly is for the supply of five Project 636 Kilo-class diesel submarines and four state-of-the-art Project 677 Amur submarines. But Defense Minister Raul Baduel said Friday the country had no immediate plans to buy submarines from Russia. Venezuela is the world's second largest importer of Russian military hardware after Algeria. In 2005-2006, it ordered $3.4 billion worth of hardware and weaponry from Russia, including 24 Su-30MK2V Flanker fighters, Tor-M1 air defense missile systems, Mi-26 Halo heavy transport helicopters, and 100,000 AK-103 Kalashnikov assault rifles. Along with Russia, Chavez is to visit Iran and several other countries in Europe and Asia, a spokesperson for the Venezuelan embassy in Moscow said, without elaborating.
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