Russia rebuffs U.S. call to rethink $1bln Venezuela arms deal
26/07/2006 15:50 RYAZAN REGION, July 26 (RIA Novosti) -
Russia's defense minister ruled out Wednesday reconsidering a $1 billion contracts on supplies of military planes and helicopters to Venezuela.
Tom Casey, a deputy spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said Tuesday that President George Bush's administration wanted Russia to review the deals. He said the weapons purchases Venezuela planned exceeded the country's demands and did not contribute to regional stability.
But Sergei Ivanov, who is also a deputy prime minister of Russia, said,
The South American country's outspoken president, Hugo Chavez, is touring defense-industry plants as part of a three-day visit to Russia.
The Foreign Ministry's official spokesman also said Wednesday
Russia has supplied Venezuela with Kalashnikov assault rifles in addition to the billion-dollar combat aircraft deal.
Mikhail Kamynin said, "Military-technical cooperation with Venezuela, as well as with other countries, is carried out by Russia in full accordance with the norms of international law as well as Russian legislation."