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CARACAS, Friday May 19, 2006 | Update
 
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White House to warn Russia against weapons sale to Venezuela
  NUEVOMEDIA
Friday May 19, 2006  11:19 AM

The US State Department on Wednesday warned that if Venezuela decided to purchase Russian weapons, Washington would have to express its concerns to Moscow about Hugo Chávez' potential arms race.

"We have already voiced our concern about what we deemed 'a disproportionate military concentration' in Venezuela," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

He clarified that Russia will eventually have to make a decision, but before that Moscow will have to know "whom they are going to sell their weapons," AP reported.

McCormack said: "We are to express our view (to the Russian Government) before any future sale."

"We would ask them (Russian) to take a closer look at what exactly Venezuela is trying to do, and consider if the purchases sought actually match Venezuelan needs."

McCormack explained that the US move to prohibit the sale of US military goods and services to Venezuela is not an arms embargo. "Embargo is a term loaded (with implications.) I would rather use 'restriction,'" he added.

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