Venezuela beefs up army with Russian arms

Nov. 27, 2004 at 11:07 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter

CARACAS, Venezuela, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Venezuela will continue to strengthen its army with the help of Russian weaponry, El Nacional newspaper reported Saturday.

Speaking from Russia where he was meeting with President Vladimir Putin, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced his nation plans to buy a large amount of Russian weapons during the next few years, although didn't specify what type of weaponry.

Venezuela last month announced it will receive in July the first batch of Russian helicopters it ordered to improve security along the Colombian border.

According to Defense Minister Jose Garcia, 10 of the 33 helicopters -- a mix of attack and transport variety -- are among the most sophisticated in the world.

Venezuela is seeking to secure its jungle border with neighboring Colombia following last month's attack by unidentified gunmen who killed six Venezuelan soldiers and an engineer for a state oil company.

Colombia's left-wing rebel groups and right-wing paramilitaries have been known to frequent the border area and sometimes cross into Venezuela.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories