Russia and Venezuela have signed two energy cooperation pacts that
promote closer ties between Russia's state-run natural gas monopoly,
Gazprom, and Venezuela's state oil firm (PDVSA).
President Dmitry Medvedev and his Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez,
attended the signing ceremony Friday in the Russian city of Orenburg.
energy officials recently announced they will expand their investment
in Venezuela's oil industry. Russia also says it will lend Venezuela $1 billion to buy military hardware.
is a harsh critic of the United States. His visit to Russia comes as
relations between Moscow and Washington have soured in the wake of last
month's conflict between Russia and U.S. ally Georgia.
Venezuelan leader was scheduled to hold talks with French leaders Friday
as part of a trip that has so far taken him to Cuba, China and Russia.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.