MOSCOW, June 27 (RIA Novosti)
- Russia to lend Venezuela $4 bln to pay for arms deals
- Chavez thanks Russia for arming Venezuelan military
- Russia lends Venezuela $4 bln to buy weaponry — Chavez
- Russia ready to help Venezuela with weaponry purchases
Caracas and Moscow have agreed on the purchase of additional 100 T-72 main battle tanks by Venezuela as part of a $4-bln loan secured by the oil-rich Latin American country in 2011 to buy Russian weaponry, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper said on Wednesday.
Russia completed in March the delivery of 92 modernized T-72B1V MBTs, the Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems and other military equipment to Venezuela under a separate $2.2-bln loan secured by Chavez' government in 2010.
Venezuela is a leading importer of Russian arms. Between 2005 and 2007, Caracas signed $4 billion worth of arms deals with Russia to buy Sukhoi fighter jets, combat helicopters, and small arms.
Russian loans to Venezuela are secured by Russia’s participation in a number of joint oil projects with Caracas.
Russia's state-controlled oil giant Rosneft has recently gained access to the Carabobo 2 block for $1.2 billion paid upfront and a $1-bln loan to Venezuela's state company PDVSA.
Rosneft is also one of five Russian companies in a consortium working with PDVSA to develop the Junin Block 6 of the Orinoco belt.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.