Venezuela, Russia sign agreements on security, defense
Venezuelan and Russian officials have signed several agreements in the sphere of defense and security, Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro and Russian Security Council President Nikolai Patrushev said.
"We have signed a memorandum of mutual understanding with the [Venezuelan] National Defense Council. We are working on an agreement on cooperation with the Defense Ministry," Patrushev said in an interview with the Venezuelan state-run television VTV after meeting with the Venezuelan president in his official residence in Caracas.
Patrushev said Russia "will continue cooperation with the [Venezuelan] Defense Ministry, including military-technical cooperation."
Russia and Venezuela will also expand their "trade and economic relations," he said.
Maduro, in turn, reiterated that the meeting with the Russian delegation had addressed cooperation in the sphere of security and reconsideration of the agreements in the sphere of energy, trade, and industry.
Maduro said that Venezuela and Russia "have demonstrated their readiness to develop close strategic cooperation."
He added that Venezuelan Defense Minister Carmen Melendez will pay an official visit to Russia "in the near future" "to expand cooperation in all areas, which will help us strengthen the Venezuelan armed forces."
Maduro also reiterated the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin "has played an outstanding role in the process for achieving peace in Syria."