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Putin, Chavez discuss military, technical cooperation

world Updated: May 26, 2009 11:43 IST

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin discussed military and technical cooperation with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in a telephone conversation, his spokesman told Russian news agencies on Monday.

The two leaders "exchanged views views on a number of subjects regarding energy, Russo-Venezuelan cooperation in the financial domain and military and technical cooperation," said Dmitry Peskov.

Chavez, an outspoken critic of US foreign policy, has strengthened military ties with Russia in recent years and in March offered to let Russian bombers use Venezuelan air bases.

Between 2005 and 2007, the two countries signed 12 arms contracts worth a total of 4.4 billion dollars (3.1 billion euros), including the sale of 24 Sukhoi fighter jets, 50 helicopter gunships and 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles.

The two countries' navies also held joint military manouevres in the Caribbean in November.