Rostec chief reveals US attempts to disrupt construction of arms factory in Venezuela

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MOSCOW – The US has tried to hamper Russia’s delivery of its equipment to the Kalashnikov assault rifle factory in Venezuela, but Russia has nevertheless found a way to do so, said Russian state corporation chief Sergei Chemezov.

Speaking at the International Economic Forum in St Petersburg on Friday, Chemezov indicated that Russia has no need to strengthen its presence in Venezuela, because Russian experts have already been there for a long time. The head of Rostec pointed out that Russia is building in Venezuela a production plant for Kalashnikov assault rifles and ammunition.

“Because of the sanctions, [the construction] is constantly being disturbed – now the electricity is cut off, sometimes we are not allowed to carry the components and equipment,” said Chemezov, expressing the hope that, despite everything, construction will be completed.

“There was a period – the construction was stopped for a month, it was impossible to work, they cut the electric power there… And then the Americans would not let us transport the machines there, it is difficult to predict when we will finish,” explained the head of Rostec.

Earlier it was reported that construction is expected to be completed by the end of this year. So far deadlines have already been postponed several times. Venezuela has long experienced an economic crisis, exacerbated by the impact of financial and economic sanctions on the country.

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Speaking on Thursday at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed some details of relations between Russia and Venezuela, including economic and military issues.

“Venezuela’s neighbors, even those who condemn Maduro,” he said, “are a total disaster. As far as I can imagine, according to the information I have, neither US allies, or nobody supports a military intervention,” Putin said.

In addition, Russia does not approve the imposition of sanctions against Venezuela, noting that both ordinary citizens and the world economy suffer from it.

“You can not interfere in the internal affairs, and even more to apply sanctions, because, as a rule, they are millions of simple citizens who have nothing to do with the authorities that suffer from it.”

“If we consider, for example, that Venezuela has halved its oil production in recent years, if we take into account the situation in which millions of people live in Venezuela, then what is it? “With Maduro or with the population? That’s why we do not approve, on the contrary, condemn such actions,” he added.

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