Russia-Venezuela nuclear accord after Brazil bought weapons
After paying a short visit to Brasilia and meeting Lula da Silva, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to sell helicopters and tanks to Brazil. Both countries agreed on the need to build a new financial structure to solve the current world economic crisis. After departing Brazil, Medvedev arrived in Caracas where Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Earlier today, Caracas held the third extraordinary Summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the People of Our America (ALBA) Presidents of Latin America and the Caribbean gathered to discuss local solutions to the current financial crisis. Russia will join ALBA as an observer. Heads of States at ALBA discuss the creation of a common currency and a new regional bank. They heavily rejected political pressures imposed by regional financial institutions that resemble IMF flawed functioning. In Brazil and Venezuela, the Russian visit promted their leaders to call for a Multi Polar International System.,
Russia and Venezuela have signed an agreement to promote the development of nuclear energy for civilian use. The agreement was signed during a visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Venezuela's capital, Caracas, on the latest leg of his Latin American tour. Under the accord, Russia would help Venezuela build a nuclear energy plant. Joint gas projects were also approved. Military co-operation is also high on the agenda of Mr Medvedev's talks with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Russian and Venezuelan warships are scheduled to hold joint military exercises later this week. The Russian vessels, including the flagship missile cruiser Peter the Great and two support vessels, appeared off La Guaira, near Caracas, early on Tuesday. The destroyer Admiral Chabanenko docked while Venezuelan forces fired a 21-gun salute.
This is first Russian deployment of its kind in the Caribbean since the end of the Cold War. New alignments: Russia is already a major arms supplier to Venezuela, with contracts worth some $4.4bn (£2.39bn). Mr Medvedev's visit is part of a Latin American tour aimed at boosting both Russia's presence and trade ties in a region traditionally of strategic importance to the US. BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says the Russian president's aim is to show Washington, where President-elect Barack Obama is preparing for office, that if the US does things in Europe near Russia's borders which Moscow does not like, then Russia can pursue its own policies in a region long seen by Washington as its backyard. Boosting bilateral trade between Russia and Latin America, which could reach $15bn (£9.9bn) this year, is another priority for the Russian president during his talks. The Russian leader travelled to Venezuela from Brazil, where he and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva held talks on boosting trade and technical co-operation. In Rio de Janeiro, the two presidents expressed their view that the "Bric" countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - should hold their first summit in Russia in 2009. Mr Medvedev's visit takes place just a few days after the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, toured several Latin American nations with a view to strengthening ties.
Russia's president is getting a red-carpet welcome in Venezuela, where President Hugo Chavez says Moscow's deepening ties in Latin America are a reflection of declining U.S. influence in a «multi-polar world. It's the first-ever visit by a Russian president to Venezuela. Dmitry Medvedev's trip coincides with Russia's first major deployment of warships in the Caribbean since the Cold War. The military show of force has been seen as a demonstration of Kremlin anger over the U.S. support for Georgia after its conflict with Russia. Medvedev arrived in Caracas Wednesday from Brazil, where he announced business deals and an upcoming summit with Brazil, India and China to discuss creating new rules for the global economy.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian leader visited Brazil as part of a tour of Latin American nations that includes stops in Peru and Cuba and is seen as revitalising Cold War-era ties. Medvedev agreed to forge closer ties with Brazil, India and China in a bid to strengthen Russia's role in world affairs and help revive the ailing global economy. "The financial crisis, which we haven't started and we are not to blame for, affected the global economic situation and we are forced to react," he said after signing a joint declaration with Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the Brazilian president, in Rio de Janeiro. "We agreed with President Lula that we will co-ordinate our efforts with Brazil in fighting the crisis and creating a new global financial architecture." US 'watching closely': Medvedev has said he wants to restore "privileged relations" with Latin American states that had close ties to the then-Soviet Union during the Cold War, when the region was the scene of fierce superpower rivalry between Moscow and Washington. The arrival in Venezuelan waters of Russian warships on Tuesday to take part in the exercises has been portrayed by Russian media as mirroring US deployments in the Black Sea in support of Georgia, which recently fought with Russia over the breakaway province of South Ossetia. However, Russian officials have denied that the exercises are aimed at "third countries" and Chavez, Venezuela's president, rejected talk of provocation on Monday, describing the exercises as an exchange between "free, sovereign countries." Sean McCormack, the US state department spokesman, said on Tuesday: "I don't think there's any question about ... who the region looks to in terms of political, economic, diplomatic and as well as military power. "If the Venezuelans and the Russians want to have a military exercise, that's fine. But we'll obviously be watching it very closely," he said. On Thursday, Medvedev is expected to visit the Russian ships in the port of La Guaira ahead of the patrol and rescue exercises, which begin on December 1 and involve Venezuelan forces and four Russian vessels carrying about 1,600 personnel.