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Venezuela warns U.S. after getting Russian warplanes

Venezuela warns U.S. after getting Russian warplanes

RIA Novosti
August 4, 2008

President Hugo Chavez said Venezuela had taken delivery of 24 Russian Sukhoi fighter jets, and warned the U.S. Fourth Fleet that his country is ready to defend itself.

“We’ve received the 24 Sukhoi aircraft,” he said Sunday. “They’re for defensive purposes; we’re not going to attack anybody.”

The deal included training for pilots and crews, as well as missiles for the fighters.

Chavez said the Sukhoi missiles have far greater range than those of the U.S. F-16 fighter jet, and warned the U.S. Fourth Fleet to keep out of Venezuelan waters.

“Any gringo ship that sails into brown waters [river waters] will itself turn brown and go to the bottom, because they’ll not get through,” he said.

The jets are part of a recent $4 billion deal with Moscow, including tanks, transport planes, air-defense systems and AK assault rifles.

In 2005-2006, Venezuela signed a deal to buy more than 50 combat helicopters, 24 Su-30MK2 fighters, 12 Tor-M1 air defense missile systems and 100,000 AK-103 rifles from Russia.

Chavez, an outspoken critic of Washington since coming to power nine years ago, has focused his foreign policy on bolstering ties with countries outside the U.S. sphere of influence.

 

Russia deploys arms in Belarus to counter U.S. shield

Reuters
August 6, 2008

Russia may consider deploying strategic bombers or station tactical missiles in its close ally Belarus as a counter-measure to a planned U.S. missile shield in Europe, Moscow’s envoy to Minsk said on Wednesday.

The United States have unnerved Moscow by its plans to install elements of its missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, a measure Washington believes is needed to avert possible missile strikes from Iran.

Moscow says U.S. plans pose a threat to Russia’s national security.

“Once Poland has signed an agreement with the American side on deployment of elements of the missile defense there, we will be able to discuss some additional aspects of our military and technical cooperation with Belarus,” Russia’s ambassador in Belarus, Alexander Surikov, told a news conference.

“The (Russian) military are talking of strategic bombers and Iskander systems,” he said. “Probably, some actions will be taken, albeit without Belarus regaining its nuclear status.”

All communist-era nuclear weapons were withdrawn from Belarus after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Read Full Article Here

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