Venezuela's President To Pay Official Visit To Russia

An official visit by the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, to Russia will take place on May 14 through 17. The press service of the Russian head of state reported Friday that on May 14 Hugo Chavez will have negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It will be the second meeting of the two leaders: the first was held during the Millennium Summit in New York City last September. The presidential press service said that the negotiations will take place against the background of mutual desire to step up bilateral partnership, broaden its framework. At the root of this desire lies the proximity or coincidence of the positions of Russia and Venezuela on topical global problems, close coordination of approaches as countries oil producers, good prospects of practical cooperation in various spheres -- trade-economic, scientific-technological, military-technological, cultural and others, said the presidential press service. These summit-level negotiations are expected to bring forth a number of bilateral documents. The foreign minister of Venezuela, currently the chair country of the Andean Group /the oldest integration association in Latin America involving Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador/, plans to sign with his Russian analogue a protocol creating mechanisms for political dialogue and cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Andean Group.