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Russia, Uruguay in talks on joint military venture

BUENOS AIRES, June 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is in talks with Uruguay on setting up a joint venture to produce dual-purpose military products, Russia's arms exporter said.

Rosoboronexport spokesman Alexander Denisov said, "A Russian delegation is holding talks with Uruguayan partners in Montevideo, who announced their intention to sign contracts by the end of the year if they agree to our terms."

In an effort to increase its share of Latin America's defense market, Russia has clinched a series of deals on sales of military hardware with Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, and is developing contacts with Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

Denisov said that at the talks, the sides agreed that Russia would repay $20 million of Russia's Soviet-era debt to Uruguay, out of a total $43 million, through supplies of heavy trucks by October, as well as through provision of road-building equipment and armored vehicles.

The spokesman said Uruguay was also considering a $6 million deal to buy a mobile field hospital.

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