Τρίτη, 25 Νοεμβρίου 2008

Chavez welcomes Russian warships

Russian warships have sailed into a Venezuelan port in the first deployment of its kind in the Caribbean since the end of the Cold War. The vessels were greeted by a 21-gun military salute on Tuesday at the start of a week of joint manoeuvres as Moscow and Caracas seek to strengthen their political and trade ties. The ships, including the nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great and the destroyer Admiral Chabankenko, arrived at La Guaira, a port near to the capital Caracas, to coincide with a two day visit by Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president. Vice-admiral Luis Morales Marquez, a Venezuelan operations commander, said the aim of the joint exercise was to "strengthen links of friendship and solidarity with the Russian fleet and the Bolivarian national armed forces". However, the move has been widely interpreted as a demonstration of the Kremlin's anger at the US over both its plans to install a missile-defence shield in eastern Europe and its decision to send aid-laden warships to Georgia this summer

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