An executive at a Russian state-owned company says it will finish building a facility for repair and maintenance of Russian helicopters in Venezuela by the end of the year.

Igor Chechikov, deputy chief executive at Russian Helicopters, told Russian news agencies on Tuesday that all the necessary equipment has been delivered to Venezuela and that the construction should be completed this year.

Russia has been a major backer of embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, supplying his government with weapons and providing loans.

Russia last week inaugurated a training center for Venezuelan pilots who fly Russian aircraft.