Maduro says he has ‘full Russian support in defense’

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CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said on Thursday returning from Moscow that his government had full support from Russia in the defense sector.

The Chavista leader met on Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We have received full support in areas such as defense industry cooperation. Venezuela has one of the most advanced weapon systems in the world,” Maduro said when he arrived in Caracas.

In a live Twitter feed, the Venezuelan president commented on his trip to Moscow and his meeting with Putin.

“I discussed this with President Putin and he reaffirmed Russia’s full support to allow Venezuela to strengthen its combat and weapons systems to protect sovereignty and national peace,” he said.

Maduro’s trip to Russia was aimed at a meeting with the Kremlin leader, Chavista’s ally. According to the Venezuelan, the two reached an agreement for a plan of industrial and economic cooperation.

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Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Maduro and Putin also talked about the “continuity” of cooperation in the defense industry.

Maduro said last week that Venezuela had “the top equipment in the world” thanks to Moscow.

“With Russia we have strategic alliances for military cooperation. We have the world’s top equipment, anti-missile air defense, anti-missile ground defense,” Maduro said during an interview with Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.

The Venezuelan leader said the country has “a good weapons system thanks to Russia” and that with China there are “good military agreements”, adding that “Venezuela’s defense depends on Venezuelans.”

Maduro stressed that the Bolivarian National Armed Force is “more united than ever” and that all threats to his government from US President Donald Trump and also from Jair Bolsonaro served to unite the ideologically and institutionally Venezuelan military.

The Bolivarian president added that, in addition to its “powerful” defensive weapon system, Venezuela has three million volunteers, men and women, who will also participate in “the country’s military defense.”

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