Venezuela and Russia Strengthen Bi-Lateral Relations, Discuss US$ 4 Billion Loan

On Wednesday Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced the strengthening of bi-lateral relations between Venezuela and Russia after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergery Lavrov.

By Juan Reardon - Venezuelanalysis.com
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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergery Lavrov in Caracas on 24 August 2011 (Prensa Presidencial/Anebert Rivera)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergery Lavrov in Caracas on 24 August 2011 (Prensa Presidencial/Anebert Rivera)

San Francisco, August 25th 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – On Wednesday Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced the strengthening of bi-lateral relations between Venezuela and Russia after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergery Lavrov. The meeting, held yesterday at the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, included talks on the joint development bank first established in 2009 and a US$ 4 billion dollar loan from Russia to help Venezuela improve its defense capabilities “by air, land, and sea.”

According to Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, who participated in Wednesday’s discussions, the joint Venezuela-Russian Development Bank “is an instrument designed to march above and beyond the (global economic) crises, allowing us to finance bi-lateral, socio-economic development projects with our allies.”

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Chavez affirmed that the “strengthening relations” between Venezuela and Russia included socio-economic development projects, and would “of course” also “serve to strengthen technical, military cooperation, which is moving along at a good pace.”

The Venezuelan president specified that, among other things, “another step has been taken towards the installation of a highly modernized air-defense system based on Russian technology.”

According to the Venezuelan State News Agency (AVN), the Venezuelan government is currently discussing a US$ 4 billion dollar loan to equip and train the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB).

In a recent interview, Venezuelan Finance and Planning Minister Jorge Giordani said the Venezuelan people “salute and thank Russia” for its current support in economic, social, and defense capability development.

“There is a socialist revolution in our country,” affirmed Giordani, and as U.S. and European interventions mount in Libya, “and now in Syria, where they are also preparing for aggression,” it is important that Venezuela “no longer depend on the Yankees (U.S.)” for military equipment and training.

According to Chavez, Minister Giordani is scheduled to visit Moscow in the coming weeks to “work out the details” relating to the loan from Russia.

Russia’s Lavrov, who is on a tour of Latin America, told reporters that his country “greatly appreciates the cooperation (with Venezuela) on the international stage, within the United Nations framework, and in the face of regional issues” and that Russia is “interested in seeing the world become ever more polycentric.”

Lavrov’s visit culminated in the development of a Plan of Action for bi-lateral cooperation efforts through 2014.