Chavez Visit to Focus on Arms Purchases

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will visit Russia this month to discuss purchasing tanks and other military equipment, which he says is needed to stave off the threat of a U.S. attack.

Chavez will meet President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on July 22 in Moscow, where he will look at air defense and digital intelligence systems, he said Wednesday in comments broadcast by state television.

"We're going to continue to equip our armed forces, and we're going to continue to bring in Russian equipment," Chavez said during a speech at a campaign rally for this year's gubernatorial elections. "We're going to bring in some little war tanks."

Chavez has bought most of the new weapons from Russia after the United States refused to sell Venezuela F-16 jet replacement parts in 2005.

He also said he also planned to talk with Medvedev about a binational bank and investment fund with Russia.