Chávez in Russia to meet leaders on joint projects

enezuelan President Hugo Chávez has arrived in Moscow to hold talks with Russian leaders on joint energy, defense and finance ventures.

Chávez was to meet with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to kick off his 10-day international tour aimed at strengthening ties with allies.

The leaders’ economic-defense agenda includes discussion on a jointly run bank aimed at financing co-operative ventures.

Russia has agreed to supply Venezuela with materials and know-how to build a nuclear reactor. Both countries say nuclear energy will be used for peaceful purposes.

Russia and Venezuela have forged close ties during Chavez’s term in office, marked by his belligerent relationship with the United States.

Moscow has become a main weapons supplier to the South American nation, with an arms deal totaling more than $4 billion.

Chavez’s trip also includes stops in Iran, Syria, Belarus, Ukraine and Portugal.

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