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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chavez to Buy Russian Tanks

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said his government will buy dozens of Russian tanks because Caracas feels threatened by a pending deal for the U.S. military to increase its presence in neighboring Colombia.

“We’re going to buy several battalions of Russian tanks,” Chavez said Wednesday, adding that he hoped to sign the deal during a visit to Russia in September.

Chavez’s government has already bought more than $4 billion worth of Russian arms since 2005, including helicopters, fighter jets and Kalashnikov rifles.

His military already has nearly 200 tanks, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies. It is unclear how many more he plans to buy or how much he plans to spend. He said a battalion typically has 40 tanks.