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Chavez to meet Lukashenko in Minsk

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will travel from Russia to Minsk Friday, for talks with his Belarusian ally, Alexander Lukashenko.
MINSK, June 29 (RIA Novosti) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will travel from Russia to Minsk Friday, for talks with his Belarusian ally, Alexander Lukashenko.

A source in the Venezuelan Embassy in Belarus said the presidents would discuss "various bilateral cooperation issues, including boosting trade-economic relations and energy cooperation."

The leaders will "make tactical changes to cooperation between Belarus and Venezuela. New joint projects may be proposed to the countries' governments," the source said.

The outspoken South American leader visited the ex-Soviet state last July, and announced that he and President Lukashenko, both controversial figures in the West, had established a "strategic alliance."

Minsk has pinned hopes on cooperation with oil-rich Venezuela in the energy sphere, in particular Belarusian participation in developing Venezuelan oil deposits.

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