Venezuela, Russia to start naval exercises Monday

Venezuela‘s state news agency says three days of joint naval exercises with Russia will kick off in Venezuelan waters on Monday.

The state-run Bolivarian News Agency says the operation involving 11 Venezuelan and four Russian ships has been christened Venrus 2008.

Saturday’s report said exercises will include anti-aircraft defense and tactics to combat terrorism and drug trafficking. Some will involve helicopters and planes.

The Russian squadron arrived in Venezuela on Tuesday, led by the nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great — the first deployment of its kind since the Cold War.

It’s widely seen as a demonstration of Kremlin anger over aid delivered by U.S. warships to Georgia after its fighting with Russia. Russian officials deny that.

–Associated Press

Peter the Great

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