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11 Sep, 2008 12:06

Bomber training in Venezuela doesn’t suggest a base – Russia

The flight of Russian strategic bombers to Venezuela cannot be considered as the prelude to establishing a Russian military base there, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The decision on the flight was made by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in response to an invitation from the Venezuelan government. The bombers will carry out patrols over neutral waters in the Pacific and the Caribbean. Russia says Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez might travel on one of the planes under certain conditions.

According to Chavez, the arrival of the planes is not related to recent events in South Ossetia in any way.

On August 7, 2007 Russia resumed strategic aviation flights, and some regard this as a return to the “Soviet empire”, but the world simply becomes multi-polar, Chavez said.

The Tu-160 strategic bombers landed at Venezuela's Libertador airfield on September 10. Their return has been scheduled for September 15.

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