CARACAS - Venezuela expects to receive a second loan of $4
billion from Russia to keep modernizing the South American country's armed
forces, President Hugo Chavez said on Wednesday.
Caracas and Moscow have
forged close ties in energy and defense, with Russian investment flowing into
the OPEC member's oil fields at the same time that Chavez became one of Russia's
most important weapons customers.
A Venezuelan government statement did
not say when the new funds would arrive, but Chavez hailed the agreement during
a phone call to a military ceremony broadcast on state television.
Last year, Chavez said Russia had given Venezuela a similar
$4 billion loan to buy weapons, but did not say what arms that money would be
used to purchase.