CARACAS, December 16. /TASS/. Trust between Russia and Venezuela is a key element if development of bilateral ties, the foundations of which were laid by Presidents Hugo Chavez and Vladimir Putin, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said here on Monday after talks with the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Rafael Ramirez.
“Trust between our countries is the backbone element in the bilateral relationship laid down by the leader of the Bolivarian revolution, Hugo Chavez, and President Vladimir Putin of Russia,” he said, adding that his talks with Ramirez had embraced a broad spectrum of issues and had been fruitful.
Venezuela has become one of Russia’s main partners in Latin America. Their trade reached a record $ 2.4 billion last year.
“Our countries take a consolidated position in the international arena,” he said, expressing Russia’s gratitude for the support it received from Venezuela on the Ukrainian problem.
Ramirez said on his part a further strengthening of collaboration between Caracas and Moscow would become his country’s response to the sanctions introduced by the U.S.
He singled out development of ties in defence and related technologies and said they would enable Venezuela to raise the combat readiness of its armed forces.
The U.S. has taken on the role of a global gendarme and Venezuela’s response in this situation is a closer union with Russia, the countries making up the Latin American Bolivarian Alliance, the Union of South American Nations /UNASUR/, and China, Ramirez said.
Venezuela deserves due respect and it will build up relations with all the countries sharing its views of the multipolar world, he said.
Also Rogozin said, that strange inconsistencies have occurred in the construction of a factory that is supposed to do licensed assembly of Kalashnikov assault rifles in Venezuela.
Cooperation in defence-related technologies was one of the items on the agenda of their negotiations as co-chairpersons of the Russian-Venezuelan high-level commission.
As he answered a question by TASS, Rogozin said it was yet to be established why the current contractor had received the contract for building the factory.
“The general contractor will be changed and the deadline for completing the construction works has been put off to the end of 2015,” he said.
Russia and Venezuela will set up a mechanism of tough control over how their bilateral decisions are fulfilled, Rogozin said.
“Our Venezuelan partners and I made an arrangement to set up a mechanism of tough control over how bilateral agreements are fulfilled,” he wrote in his microblog.
The two countries signed an agreement on building a factory for assembling the Kalashnikov guns of series 100 in Venezuela in July 2006. The document said Venezuelan technology experts and specialists would be trained for a full licensed production cycle of cycle of AK-103 guns.
The factory is expected to assemble about 25,000 Kalashnikov automatic assault rifles annually.