Russia to strengthen ties with Bolivia and Venezuela
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is meeting the presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia to sign military and energy deals in Caracas Friday. Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez said Putin’s first visit to Venezuela was “a very important day for the country and for Latin America”.
Bolivian President Evo Morales is expected to ask for a 74-million-euro loan from Russia to buy weapons. The head of Russia’s military cooperation service, Mikhail Dmitriyev, said Moscow is ready to lend money to Bolivia to buy Russian military hardware.
There is an agreement to set up a Russian-Venezuelan development bank to finance oil and gas exploration in Venezuela’s Orinoco river basin. The two countries have started a joint venture enterprise that hopes to extract 450,000 barrels of oil a day from the Amazon region.
Venezuela’s vice-president Elias Jaua said the accords will not be limited to energy and military, but would also include social, cultural and health matters.
Putin and Chavez will sign deals on agriculture, transport and natural catastrophes
Last week Chavez thanked Russia for helping his country to bolster its defensive potential against threats from the United States.
“We are building a new, multipolar world,” he said.