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Chavez thanks Russia for arming Venezuelan military

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez thanked Russia for its help in modernizing and equipping the national Army with up-to-date weaponry.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez thanked Russia for its help in modernizing and equipping the national Army with up-to-date weaponry.

"I want to thank Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for these weapons manufactured in the Russian Federation, in sister Russia," Chavez said during an address to the Army as he was presenting them with newly purchased Russian military equipment.

The Venezuelan military received 25 tanks and hundreds of other weapons, according to generals present at the ceremony.

"These arms from Russia, now in Venezuela, will be for defending our sovereignty. Thanks to Russia. A round of applause for Russia," Chavez said.

Between 2005 and 2007 Venezuela reached deals to buy $4-billion worth of arms from Russia, including Sukhoi fighter jets, combat helicopters, and guns. Chavez' government also secured a $2.2-billion loan in 2010 to purchase Russian T-72 tanks and S-300 anti-aircraft missiles.

Earlier, Chavez confirmed plans to keep the country's foreign currency reserves in the banks of allied countries, including Russia.

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