Report: Russian, Venezuelan navies to hold joint exercises
Four Russian navy ships will participate in joint exercises with Venezuela in the Caribbean this year, a Russian Foreign Ministry official said Monday, reported dpa.
The Russian statement came after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced the arrival of Russian ships on national television Sunday, saying they would dock in the South American country by late November.
Andrei Nesterenko confirmed that "before the end of the year" the nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great, an anti-submarine ship, tugboat and big sea tanker would enter Venezuelan waters.
Nesterenko said the exercises were "not connected to the present crisis in the Caucasus" and said the joint exercise wouldn't be directed against a third country.
But such manoeuvers could add to the already strained security tensions between Cold War foes the United States and Russia as US warships delivering aid to Georgia butt up against the ongoing Russian military presence in the former Soviet state.