CARACAS, February 12. /TASS/. Russia and Venezuela have been successfully developing military and military-technical cooperation, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said after talks with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday.
Shoigu has described the talks with his Venezuelan counterpart Vladimir Padrino Lopez as "constructive and fruitful." "We discussed a broad range of issues linked to military and military-technical cooperation," Shoigu said.
The Russian defense minister, who is currently on a three-day Latin American tour, said the Russian and Venezuelan military cooperation is developing in line with strategic agreements between the two countries’ presidents.
Shoigu and Maduro stated that their assessments of global and regional political processes fully coincide. At earlier talks in Caracas, the Russian and Venezuelan defense ministers in particular agreed on holding bilateral military exercises.
Russia has now become the main supplier of weapons for Venezuela. The cooperation in this sphere is based on an intergovernmental agreement signed in May 2011 in Moscow.
Russia supplies to Venezuela military helicopters of various types, including MI-17B-5, MI-35M and MI-26T. Venezuela’s army also has Russia’s Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifles. Under the earlier reached agreements, Russia has transferred to Caracas technologies on the licensed production of these small arms.
Russia has also fully implemented a contract on the supplies to Venezuela of 24 Su-30MK2 multi-role fighter aircraft.
Venezuela’s army has now in service Russian tanks T-72B1V, armored vehicles BMP-3 and BTR-80, as well as artillery systems Grad, Smerch and Msta-S, and various air defence weapons.