12:02 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks at a news conference after addressing a United Nations General Assembly special session.

    Bolivia Interested in Purchasing Russian Military Equipment - President

    © REUTERS / Mike Segar
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    COCHABAMBA, Bolivia (Sputnik) - Bolivia is interested in purchasing Russian military equipment, and even considering replacing US T-33 jet trainers with Russian analogues, according to Bolivian President Evo Morales.

    "There is a great interest in purchasing Russian military equipment, including aviation equipment, and in services. A [joint] commission is operating, and we hope that technology transfer will bring good results", Morales said, when asked whether the country sought to acquire Russian weapons. "Last year we stopped using T-33 jet trainers, and now the Air Force asks me to replace them with Russian aircraft. Much will depend on the technical aspect, but there is great trust [in Russian military equipment]. There are many Russian aircraft in Latin America. Everything will depend on the work of the relevant commission", Morales added.

    The comments come amid brewing tensions in the Latin American region with Venezuela embroiled in a political crisis after US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido illegally declared himself interim president of Venezuela, disputing Maduro’s reelection victory in May.

    Bolivia was among the nations to side with Russia and reject Guaido as Venezuelan President, recognising Nicolas Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela.

    Morales is set to pay a visit to Moscow on July 11 for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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    Evo Morales, cooperation, defence, Bolivia, Russia
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