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US concerned at possible Russian military presence in Venezuela

      RBC, 24.07.2008, Moscow 12:59:50.Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's proposal that Russia set up a military base in Venezuela, combined with information released this week on the possible deployment of Russian bombers in Cuba, may provoke an overly negative reaction from the US, the RBC Daily newspaper reported today. Washington may fail to understand the intricacies of Moscow's diplomatic game, in which Russia seeks to receive an additional trump card in an attempt to decide in its favor the issue of the deployment of US missile shield elements in Eastern Europe.

      During a press conference in Moscow following his talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Chavez said that he would welcome Russian armed forces in Venezuela. While certain sources point out that it would be an adequate response to US missile shield deployment in Poland and the Czech Republic, Russia has not yet confirmed its interest in Chavez's offer. Russia's position on the matter is expected to become clear during the anticipated visit by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to Venezuela.

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