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HAVANA, March 13 (RIA Novosti) – Venezuela has appointed Juan Vicente Paredes Torrealba, a former commander of the National Army, as its new ambassador to Russia, Venezuelan media said citing Foreign Minister Elias Jaua.
“After an approval by the National Assembly, Venezuela will send an agrement request to the Russian government,” Jaua told reporters after a meeting with acting President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday.
Maj. Gen. Torrealba will replace Hugo Garcia, who has held the Moscow posting since February 2009.
Ties between Russia and Venezuela flourished under late President Hugo Chavez, whose 14-year-rule brought Moscow a number of lucrative arms and energy deals and an ally in Latin America.
Maduro has earlier assured Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone that strategic partnership between the two countries would continue following Chavez’s death on March 5 after a two-year fight with cancer.
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The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.