Translated excerpts of interview with Source "B" (Kommersant-18 Sept: Игорь Сечин открыл союзную Америку) "After the war in Georgia, Russia has sharply intensified its foreign policy in Latin America. Representatives of Russian Federation delegation, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, yesterday completed a visit to Caracas and Havana.
According to source "B", among the key themes of the visit were not only economic cooperation, but also the development of allied relations between Russia, Venezuela and Cuba. In Moscow the Russian leadership believes that the establishment of such a union would be a worthy response to intensifying U.S. intervention in the post-Soviet space."
According to "B", military-technical cooperation (ICDs) was also discussed. Sergei Chemezov, who also arrived in Caracas, said that Russia and Venezuela are "negotiating the supply of air defense systems, modern armored vehicles, including BMP-3". According to Mr Chemezov, given that in 2009 the test of aircraft Su-35 will be completed, and in 2010 Russia will begin its serial production, "Venezuelan side expressed interest in this machine". Caracas, according to "B", was offered a choice of Su-30MK2 V or the new Su-35.
[...] according to source "B" delivery of 12 heavy military transport planes Il-76 and IL-78 as well as two Il-96 were discussed. In addition, negotiations have started on a contract for three to four submarine Project 636. According to sources "B" "Venezuela expressed its desire to buy a batch of BMP-3". One of the problems is the desire of Caracas to buy Russian equipment on credit. This, incidentally, was discussed during the visit of Hugo Chavez in Moscow.[...]
[...] The experts do not doubt that via intensified contacts with Latin America, Russia is attempting to find allies to fight the United States. "These visits and manoeuvres can be interpreted as asymmetrical response to Washington - said Vladimir Davydov.
However, to build up military ties between Russia and Latin America is of interest not only for Moscow. The news of the Russian aviation flights over the Caribbean Sea has been welcomed in Beijing, which Hugo Chavez will visit as early as this Sunday. China has long been considering Venezuela as one of the key links in its energy system. In 2006, Chairman of China Hu Jintao and Hugo Chavez agreed that China will help Venezuela to upgrade its tanker fleet to increase the transport of oil from the Orinoco belt. At the same time, Beijing is currently involved in upgrading the Panama Canal (the canal administration until 2020 is controlled by Mr Li firm Hutchison Whampoa
). The only issue of concern to Beijing is the need to ensure the safety of the channel, without involving the armed forces of the PRC. The emergence of the Russian squadron in the Caribbean Sea will facilitate the solution of this problem. (Source)
( El viceprimer ministro de Rusia Igor Sechin, de visita en Nicaragua manifestó este miércoles el interés de su gobierno de establecer vínculos de cooperación económicos y políticos con la nación centroamericana)