In another sign of the blossoming relationship between Venezuela and Russia, the two countries have launched their first joint natural gas project in the Caribbean. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hailed the “strategic alliance” that he said is allowing his country to free itself from “Yankee imperialism.” Joining him was Russian Vice Prime Minister Igor Sechin, who said the partnership was looking to develop new production and sales markets in response to the financial crisis.
Russian state-run energy giant Gazprom won the right to help tap The Gulf of Venezuela’s estimated 27 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Over the last three years Caracas has bought more than three billion euros worth of Russian military equipment. Russia’s president, Dmitri Medvedev, will attend joint naval manoeuvres in the Caribbean at the end of the month.