Russia To Supply Bolivia Helicopters And Military Hardware
News agency MercoPress published the following information:
Russian ambassador in Bolivia Leonid Golubev said Moscow would help Bolivia modernize its arms and military equipment, following on the credit agreement reached last February between presidents Diimitri Medvedev and Evo Morales.
“All that the Bolivian government requests from us, we are prepared to provide. We can say that the Bolivian army will be modernized and to a similar level to those of surrounding countries”, said Golubev, quoted in La Paz main daily, La Razon
“What we are waiting is for the formal request from Bolivia to implement the credit”, which according to sources from both governments in its first phase is close to 150 million US dollars. Morales and Medvedev signed a military cooperation agreement last February which according to Russia’s official news agency Interfax would begin with the purchase of Mi-17 military helicopters both for combat and transport to help fight terrorism and the drug trade.
Rosoboronexport, the official Russian arms export organization said that a first batch of 20 helicopters would begin to be supplied following a visit to Moscow earlier this month of Bolivian Deputy Foreign Affairs minister Hugo Fernandez.
Golubev said the shopping list also includes arms and equipments for the Bolivian Army but did not reveal details of the operation.
Bolivian Defence minister Walker San Miguel said that the agreement with Russia, “is generic, with priorities analyzed specifically, such as logistics and military hardware since Bolivian Armed Forces have been left aside of budget considerations for the last ten years at least”.