Venezuela Gets $2.2B Loan for Russian Arms

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by bhramos, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Venezuela Gets $2.2B Loan for Russian Arms

    MOSCOW - Russia has issued the biggest post-Soviet loan to Venezuela to buy Russian arms as Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez meanwhile recognized two rebel Georgian regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as independent states.

    U.S. officials have expressed concerns the Venezuelan purchases would set off an arms race in the region, while Chavez maintains he needs Russian arms for defensive purposes.

    Speaking on his weekly television show in Caracas on Sept. 13, Chavez said Russia had offered him a $2.2 billion loan to buy tanks and advanced anti-aircraft missiles.

    Venezuela will buy 92 T-72 tanks and several T-90s from Russia, as well as S-300, Buk-M2 and Pechora anti-aircraft missile systems, Chavez said. The S-300 system (NATO codename: SA-20 Gargoyle) can track up to 100 targets, including cruise missiles, while engaging six simultaneously at a range of 200 kilometers
    . In 2007, Russia signed a contract to provide S-300 systems to Iran but the delivery was suspended over Israeli and U.S. concerns that they would be used to protect Iranian nuclear facilities.

    Chavez also said Caracas would buy Russia's Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems.

    It was not immediately clear when the contracts would be completed. Russian officials declined to comment.

    The loan is the biggest ever offered by Russia to an arms client for buying Russian weapons. It is equal to half the value of all previous Russian arms deals with Venezuela since Chavez turned to Moscow in 2006. Last fall, Chavez and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to open a $1 billion credit line for Caracas to buy Russian arms. Russia issued a similar loan to Indonesia in 2007.

    During a Sept. 10 meeting with Medvedev in Moscow, Chavez announced that Venezuela would recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia recognized the two separatist regions in August 2008 after its five-day war with the pro-Western Georgia.

    Nicaragua was the only country to follow Russia's example. Moscow was criticized internationally for its decision, which also opened the way for Russian military bases in the rebel regions, which signed military cooperation pacts with Russia.

    Sergei Prikhodko, Medvedev's foreign policy aide, told reporters Sept. 10 that the recognition by Chavez was not part of a trade-off for the weapon loan, but most Russian political analysts agreed it was exactly that. Chavez had to make this concession to Moscow because reduced oil prices are affecting Venezuela's budget, the analysts agreed.

    Along with the weapon loan, Caracas received another $1 billion from the Russian oil consortium for its access to Venezuela's Junin-6 oil project, the country's Energy and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said in televised remarks Sept. 13. Chavez said he had also won Moscow's pledge to lead Venezuela's nuclear program, but stressed that he was not going to make an atomic bomb.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced concern Sept. 15 over the fervently anti-American Chavez's arms purchases from Russia. "They outpace all other countries in South America and certainly raise questions as to whether there is going to be an arms race in the region," she said.

    Konstantin Makiyenko, a military analyst with the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, a Moscow think tank, defended the Venezuelan deal, saying it doesn't violate any international legal norms.

    "If the U.S. Department of State is really worried about arms sales in the world, including in Latin America, possibly it slightly restricts its own arms makers and suppliers, which annually deliver their products worth tens of billions of dollars," Makiyenko said.

    According to the U.S. Congressional Research Service report on the international arms trade, released Sept. 4, the United States concluded $37.8 billion in arms deals in 2008, accounting for 68.4 percent of the global arms trade's total volume. Russia signed contracts worth $3.5 billion last year, according to the report. The official Russian estimate is $10.5 billion in new contracts in 2008.

    Venezuela is embroiled in a diplomatic spat with its neighbor, U.S. ally Colombia, with Chavez protesting that American military bases there can be used to launch an attack on Venezuela.

    Since 2005, Chavez has ordered 24 Su-30MK2 fighters; more than 50 Mi-17V, Mi-35M and Mi-26T helicopters; 12 Tor-M1 missile systems; and 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles from Russia. In 2006, Moscow and Caracas signed a separate contract to build a plant producing Kalashnikovs in Venezuela under the Russian license.

    Top Russian officials called the arms sale to Venezuela a "breakthrough" into a region that the United States traditionally considers its sphere of influence.

    Venezuela Gets $2.2B Loan for Russian Arms - Defense News
     
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  3. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    s-300 with T-90 on loan impressive
    beware of the russian bear
    first time i guess s-300 on loan its more than what shows up certainly interesting for all the nay sayers who says russian economy and arms industry is finished tell me which country can afford this at this time of recession?

    time to think and ponder
     
  4. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Thanks to Iran & Syria,
    as they brought S-300, Israel came into picture of Russia, and now Israel & Russia are some time friends, and Israel is helping to get its edge in its [Russia's] unknown areas like UAVs & advanced avionics which Russia was lagging, this would defenatly in firsthand help India, as its the partner in both of these countries, and definatly benfit Russia from maintaining edge over west with less effort in Research & Technology.
     

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