Russian warships arrive in Venezuela
25/ 11/ 2008
MOSCOW/CARACAS, November 25 (RIA Novosti) - A group of warships from Russia's Northern Fleet arrived on Tuesday at the Venezuelan port of La Guaira, a Russian naval official said.
The task force, led by the Pyotr Veliky missile cruiser, is on a planned visit that follows a two-month tour of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, which saw Russian ships visiting Libya, Turkey and France.
"The [Udaloy class destroyer] Admiral Chabanenko has docked in port, while the Pyotr Veliky missile cruiser has dropped anchor off La Guaira," said Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo, an aide to the Navy commander.
Russian and Venezuelan warships will conduct live-ammunition artillery drills on December 1 as part of joint naval exercises in the Caribbean. The exercises will involve joint sea rescue operations, maneuvering, and firing drills.
Venezuela's Navy will be represented by two or three combat vessels.
The exercises will be conducted in line with bilateral agreements and in accordance with international maritime law. They will be held in an area beyond Venezuela's territorial waters, about 150 nautical miles from the South American country's coast.
All shipping in the area will be halted for the duration of the exercises, subject to special notice due at the end of November.
After its visit to Venezuela, the Russian task force is due to take part in an exercise with ships from Russia's Pacific Fleet in the Indian Ocean.