MOSCOW – The head of Russia's state arms-trading agency said Thursday that Russia has signed contracts with Venezuela for 24 military planes and 53 helicopters, the Interfax news agency reported.
The comments by Sergei Chemezov, director-general of Rosoboronexport, were reported as being made on the sidelines of a Kremlin meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Venezuela's anti-U.S. president Hugo Chavez.
The report did not specify what model planes or helicopters had been sold, but cited Chemezov as saying arms deals worth more than $3 billion had been signed with Venezuela over the past 18 months.
The United States has sharply objected to Russian arms deals with Venezuela; Washington imposed an arms embargo on Venezuela this year.
Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said last week that Chavez was expected to sign an agreement to purchase Su-30 fighter jets from Russia during his visit. It was not immediately clear whether the contracts Chemezov was cited as reporting included that contract.
Neither Putin nor Chavez made any statements about arms contract to journalists at their meeting.