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Lavrov says Russia-Venezuela cooperation not targeting U.S.

08.10.2008 Source: en.rian.ru

The strengthening of Russia's bilateral ties with Venezuela is not aimed at any other country, including the United States, the Russian foreign minister said Monday.

Speaking in an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta government daily that will be published Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied Western media reports that the cooperation between Russia and Venezuela is aimed against the United States.

"I do not know how such conclusions are drawn. Neither Russia nor Venezuela has any plans to attack anyone. Russia and Venezuela enjoy cooperation basing on the norms of international law," Lavrov said.

Two Russian strategic bombers recently carried out patrols along the coast of South America during a visit to Venezuela and a naval task force led by the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy is on its way to the country for joint exercises in the Caribbean.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who visited Russia in late September and met with President Dmitry Medvedev, has said the Russian navy will receive a warm welcome in the Latin American country.

Russia's top diplomat said that instead of inventing unbelievable scenarios of a possible attack on the United States, "I would advise CNN to begin a journalistic investigation into how an attack was prepared on South Ossetia, which included an attack on Russia."

Lavrov, who is to meet Tuesday with his Venezuelan counterpart in Moscow, said that an attack on peacekeepers is under international law considered an attack on their country.

In a bid to regain control over its breakaway republic, Georgian forces moved into South Ossetia on August 8 killing a number of Russian peacekeepers and hundreds of civilians, prompting Russia to send in its military to force Georgia to peace.

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