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    Medvedev says Russia ready to supply helicopters to Bolivia

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    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday that Moscow was planning to supply a large number of helicopters to Bolivia.

    MOSCOW, February 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday that Moscow was planning to supply a large number of helicopters to Bolivia.

    "We are hoping to start the implementation of a first large contract on the delivery of helicopters to Bolivia in the near future," Medvedev said at a news conference after talks with Bolivian President Evo Morales in Moscow.

    Medvedev added that in the future Russia would be willing to expand the list of armaments supplied to the Latin American country.

    "We are ready to continue talks [on arms exports to Bolivia] in the future," the Russian president said.

    Some sources earlier reported that Bolivia expressed interest in buying a number of Russian-made Mi-17 multipurpose helicopters to combat terrorism and drug trafficking.

    During the talks in Moscow, Russia and Bolivia signed a bilateral agreement on military-technical cooperation.

    Mikhail Dmitriyev, head of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said on Monday that Moscow could offer La Paz a loan for the purchase of Russian-made weaponry, without specifying the amount.

    "We are working on this issue, and if the deal is approved it will cover not only helicopters, but all military equipment supplied to Bolivia in the future," Dmitriyev said.

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