Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is to seek further cooperation with Russia during his two-day visit to Moscow.
Chavez will meet his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. He will also speak at the conference Two Centuries of Independence of Latin America, at the Foreign Literature Library in Moscow.
During his talks with Russian leaders, Chavez is expected to discuss cooperation up to 2014. This covers military, nuclear sectors, construction and also joint financial and industrial plans.
They will be signing the Action Plan which will outline upcoming joint work. The aim is to boost bilateral trade, including in the military-technical sphere.
Military deals between Russia and Venezuela now exceed US$4 billion.
Venezuela is constructing three military plants – to produce Kalashnikov rifles, to make cartridges, and an aircraft repair plant to service Russian helicopter equipment. Caracas plans to buy ten Ilyushin planes, two Il-78MK refueling aircraft and Russian Mi-28NE helicopters.
Venezuela might also become the first export customer for Sukhoi fighter jets, according to the Russian military export company, Rosoboronexport.
In the near future, military equipment exports to Venezuela could reach $5 billion, said Vladimir Putin.
However, the countries’ cooperation is not restricted to the military sector alone. As Hugo Chavez announced earlier, Caracas may build a nuclear power plant in Venezuela with Russia’s support.
The leaders also expect to finalize establishing a joint Russian-Venezuelan bank, as agreed in 2009. The bank’s headquarters would be in Moscow, with offices in Venezuela and China.
Another topic on the agenda is Russia’s assistance in building social housing, hospitals and schools for Venezuela’s poor, which was discussed during a previous visit to Caracas by Russian leaders.
It is the Venezuelan leader’s ninth visit to Russia, after which he’s due to head for Belarus, Ukraine, Iran, Syria and Portugal.