CARACAS, Venezuela: President Hugo Chavez says that Venezuela is fortifying "all levels of cooperation" with Russia, including the purchase of more arms.
Chavez says he spoke with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin by telephone, and his defense minister will visit Moscow on Wednesday for a series of meetings.
The socialist president says he's grateful to Putin for helping Venezuela buy arms in the face of what he sees as a U.S. "embargo." Venezuela, however, is the fifth largest supplier of oil to the U.S.
Speaking at a military event on Tuesday, Chavez said Venezuela is not afraid of the U.S. and that his country is experiencing an "armed revolution."
Venezuela spent US$4 billion on international arms purchases between 2005 and 2007. Most came from Russia and China.