Venezuela, Russia boost military, energy ties

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela and Russia are deepening military and energy ties, with plans to step up oil, weapons and technology cooperation.

As two visiting Russian bombers left Venezuela Thursday, officials of both countries said the visit is just the start of a new chapter in a flourishing strategic alliance.

President Hugo Chavez will visit Moscow next week and is planning oil projects with Russian companies as well as joint military exercises in the Caribbean later this year.

Sergei Chemezov, of Russian state holding company Rostekhnologii, told Russia's Interfax news agency that Venezuela is also in talks to buy Russian air defense systems and armored tanks.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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