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Belarus to help Venezuela build anti-aircraft defense system

Belarus will help Venezuela set up an anti-aircraft defense system over the next six years, Belarus’ deputy chief of general staff said Tuesday.

“We plan during a six-year period to supply to Venezuela with an anti-aircraft defense system and train their commanders,” General Pyotr Tikhonovsky was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying. This year, Belarus will send 10 military advisers to Venezuela, which currently “has detached units, fighters, but no anti-aircraft defense systems,” he said. Tikhonovsky added that the establishment of an air defense system in Venezuela would allow his country to enter Latin America’s armament markets. “This will help us pursue our other interests in Venezuela too,” the military official said.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has already bought significant numbers of aircraft and small arms from Russia in a bid to modernize and expand his country’s armed forces. (