Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says Russian warships will soon reach his country's waters for joint naval exercises in the Caribbean.

Chavez says the Russian ships "will enter Venezuelan waters within a matter of hours." He didn't say exactly when, but the Russian warships are expected to hold Caribbean maneuvers later this week.

It's the first such deployment by Moscow since the Cold War. Russia is sending four ships including the nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great.

Chavez is also expecting a visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday as part of a Latin American tour. Chavez has been boosting ties with Russia while tensions with the U.S. have grown, and he has bought more than $4 billion in Russian weapons.