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Thread: Russia to aid Bolivia drugs fight

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    Russia to aid Bolivia drugs fight

    Russia to aid Bolivia drugs fight

    Russia is set to supply helicopters to Bolivia to help in the fight against the illegal drugs trade, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said.

    Mr Medvedev's remarks came as he and his Bolivian counterpart, Evo Morales, held talks in Moscow on increasing energy and defence co-operation.

    Russia is trying to boost its influence in the region, correspondents say.

    Late last year, Mr Morales halted US anti-narcotics operations in Bolivia amid tensions with Washington.

    President Morales was making the first visit to Moscow by a Bolivian leader.

    Among the accords signed was one for military-technical co-operation.

    "We hope that very soon we will begin carrying out the first big contract to deliver Russian helicopters to Bolivia," President Medvedev said, describing drug trafficking as "a global threat that is a danger for the entire planet".

    He did not say how many helicopters would be provided but Russian officials suggested it would be under 20, the Associated Press reported.

    Gas reserves

    Bolivia is the biggest producer of coca, the raw ingredient for cocaine after Colombia and Peru, and has long been the focus of US anti-drug efforts.

    Last year, Mr Morales ordered a stop to operations by the US Drug Enforcement Administration in Bolivia, accusing the agency of having encouraged anti-government protests in the country in September.

    The US government had earlier added Bolivia to a list of countries that it said had failed in their counter-narcotics obligations.

    During Monday's talks, Mr Medvedev and Mr Morales also signed an agreement on energy co-operation.

    The Russian leader said his country would help Bolivia, which has large natural gas reserves, develop a pipeline network and explore gas fields in a project running through to 2030.

    President Morales praised the renewed attention Russia was playing to Latin America.

    "Russia's return to the region is very important," he told a news conference.

    President Medvedev said Russia was keen to expand its ties with Latin American nations, but had "no desire to compete with anyone", in an apparent reference to the US.

    A warm welcome for Evo Morales on
    the first visit by a Bolivian leader
    Attached Images Attached Images Russia to aid Bolivia drugs fight-_45484573_-9-jpg 
    “How is freedom measured, in individuals as in nations? By the resistance which has to be overcome, by the effort it costs to stay aloft. One would have to seek the highest type of free man where the greatest resistance is constantly being overcome: five steps from tyranny, near the threshold of the danger of servitude.”

    Friedrich Nietzsche

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