Russia, Venezuela to stage navy drills

Sept. 22, 2008 at 12:17 PM
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SEVEROMORSK, Russia, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Russia will conduct joint naval drills with the Venezuelan navy in the Caribbean Sea, military officials said Monday.

A Russian naval task force, including the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy and the large anti-submarine warfare ship Admiral Chabanenko, has departed from Severomorsk, Russia, and will conduct exercises with Venezuelan forces in November, RIA Novosti reported.

"During the exercise, ships and naval aircraft will practice coordinated maneuvering, search-and-rescue and communications," said Capt. Igor Dygalo.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had confirmed that his country would join the naval exercises with Russian warships in the Caribbean, saying the Russian navy would receive a warm welcome in the Latin American country, the news agency said.

Russia air force bombers recently ended a training stay in Venezuela.

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