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Russia Ignores U.S. Calls to Halt Sale of Aircraft

The World | IN BRIEF / VENEZUELA

July 28, 2006|From Times Wire Reports

Russia said it had sold 24 aircraft and 53 helicopters to Venezuela, defying U.S. calls for Moscow to halt arms sales to populist President Hugo Chavez.

Russia's arms export chief, speaking as Chavez met Russian President Vladimir V. Putin at the Kremlin, said the aircraft deal was part of a long-term package of contracts worth more than $3 billion.

Chavez is a vocal critic of what he calls U.S. imperialism. Washington considers him a dangerous radical and had urged Russia to rethink the deal.

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