7 Apr 2010

Russia to sell more arms to Venezuela

8:35 am on 7 April 2010

Russian arms sales to Venezuela may reach $US5 billion according to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The deals include a seven-year loan worth $US2.2 billion that Moscow extended to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez last year.

Commenting on a visit last week to Caracas, Mr Putin said in Moscow said the contracts would go to 13 Russian weapons companies.

Reacting to the news, the United States said it failed to see what legitimate defence needs Venezuela had for the equipment.

The BBC reports President Chavez has already agreed military purchases worth more than $US4 billion with Moscow since 2005, including jet fighters, helicopters, tanks and assault rifles.