Defence & Security News - Venezuela
 
Venezuela will import more modern military equipment from Russia and China.
The Venezuelan government has cleared the allocation of funds for importing up-to-date Russian- and Chinese-made weaponry, according to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
     
The Venezuelan government has cleared the allocation of funds for importing up-to-date Russian- and Chinese-made weaponry, according to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Russian-made modernized T-72 main battle tanks at military parade in Venezuela.
     
"Owing to China and Russia, cutting-edge technologies and the latest weapons for all Special Forces troopers, all Special Forces groups and all servicemen of the Bolivarian Armed Forces rapid reaction forces shall be bought," Maduro said. "Very soon, the commander [Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez] will go to Russia and China to close the deals and obtain the most advanced technologies and arms."

Maduro addressed the armed forces at the annual welcoming ceremony held annually at the end of the year.

Venezuela is one of Russia's most important trading and military allies in Latin America (after Brazil), making a strong bond in the bilateral relations between the two nations.

Under President Hugo Chávez, Venezuela has enjoyed warm relations with Russia. Much of this is through the sale of military equipment; since 2005, Venezuela has purchased more than $4 billion worth of arms from Russia.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Venezuela imported $349 million worth of arms from China and $1.96 billion worth of arms from Russia between 2010 and 2014.

In 2013 alone, Caracas imported $1 billion worth of military equipment from Moscow. From 2012 to 2015, Venezuela armed forces have purchased 48 2S19 MSTA-S 152mm self-propelled howitzers, 12 BM-30 Smerch MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System), 123 BMP-3 IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle), 114 BTR-80A 8x8 APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier), 12 Buk-M2 air defense system, 3 S-300VM air defense missile system, and 92 modernized T-72M1M (T-72S).
     
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