Venezuelan president to pay two-day visit to Russia

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will arrive in Russia on Thursday for a two-day working visit at the invitation of his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, the Kremlin press service reports.

“The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Hugo Chavez will stay on a brief working visit in Russia on September 25-26 this year at the invitation of President Dmitry Medvedev,” the Kremlin press service said in its statement.

President Chavez will meet Russian leaders. Some time earlier, he said that agreements for cooperation in energy, science and technology would be signed during his visit to Russia.

The Venezuelan president is making a long foreign tour. He will arrive in Russia from China where he has met the Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Venezuela and Russia have stepped up ties in practically all spheres of bilateral relations, including the economy and military-technological cooperation. A Russian government delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin visited Caracas last week to discuss the expansion of cooperation in many spheres, including energy.

Temporary location of two Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers also grabbed world attention. The planes returned to their base in Engels near Moscow last Friday after carrying out test flights over the Caribbean Sea. President Chavez received the Russian military pilots.

In an interview with the “Vesti on Saturday” new program of the Russia television channel, Hugo Chavez said that cooperation with Russia was essential for the economic development of the entire Latin American continent.

“Latin America is reviving from a gloomy and terrible rule of the gringo empire. Now, we are shedding this domination, and we need friends like Russia. Russia is a friend for peace,” the Venezuelan president said.

After Moscow, President Chavez is expected to visit Paris and Lisbon.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 25Sep08]

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