13 Sep 2009

Venezuela acquires missiles from Russia

5:46 am on 13 September 2009

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has announced that a delivery of Russian missiles with a range of 300km is to be made soon.

Mr Chavez made the announcement on his return from a 10-day tour of Africa, Asia and Europe, including Russia.

The BBC reports Mr Chavez is also planning to buy Russian T-72 and T-90 missiles. He did not say how many missiles he has ordered.

But he denied the missiles will be used for offensive purposes.

Venezuela is involved in a long-running diplomatic stand-off with neighbouring Colombia, over the latter's plans to allow United States troops greater access to its military bases.

Russia has been strengthening its ties with several Latin American countries, including Venezuela.

The two countries held joint naval exercises in Venezuelan waters last November.