Chavez: Russia jets welcome, but no Venezuela base
President Hugo Chavez says Russian bombers would be welcome in Venezuela, but the socialist leader denies that his country has offered Moscow its territory for a military base. Chavez was responding to a report by Interfax news agency on Saturday quoting the chief of staff of Russia's long-range aviation as saying that some strategic bombers could be based in Venezuela. A Kremlin official said Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev had been speaking hypothetically. Chavez said Sunday that Venezuela could temporarily host Russian bombers - just as it did in September when Russian Tu-160 bombers visited for training flights. But Chavez said there are no plans to establish a Russian military base in Venezuelan territory.
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