RIO DE JANEIRO, May 18 (RIA Novosti, Andrei Kurguzov) - On Tuesday Venezuela and Russia signed an agreement on supplies of 100,000 Kalashnikov submachine-guns to that South-American country.The sum total of the transaction is $54 million. Russia undertook to supply to Venezuela, alongside weapons, also 2,000 handbooks, as well as spare parts and accessories for the AK submachine-guns.
This transaction also provides for transferring technology of assembly of the submachine-guns of this model to the Venezuelans, for training of 45 Venezuelan technicians and engineers in Russia for 11 months, and for organizing assembly production of the AK-103 in Venezuela.
As Venezuela's Defence Minister Jorge Garcia Carneiro stated at the ceremony of signing the contract, the first batch of 28,000 AK-103 submachine-guns must be received already in October.
The Minister deemed it necessary to stress the absolute transparency of the talks on this deal. According to him, 56 specialists of different specialties participated in the negotiating process from the Venezuelan side, and all their meetings with the Russian representatives were video and audio taped.
The Minister said that already on Wednesday the Russian technical commission will start analyzing and estimating the possibilities of the Venezuelan military-industrial company which will assemble the Russian AK-103 submachine-guns in the future.
The Russian submachine-guns must replace the Belgian arms which were in service in the Venezuelan army for more than a half-century.
According to Rosoboronexport representative Sergei Ladygin who participated in the signing ceremony, Venezuela will become the first country in the world after Russia where the Russian AK-103 submachine-guns will be assembled, and the first country of the Western hemisphere to have them in service.
Earlier this year Russia and Venezuela signed a $120-million contract for supplies of Russian helicopters to Venezuela.