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Russian, Venezuelan leaders tour fleet

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  • Russian and Venezuelan ships are scheduled to conduct joint exercises
  • Officials sign 15 accords dealing with nuclear, military, scientific, technical matters
  • Russian President Dmitri Medvedev set to visit Cuba next
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CARACAS, Venezuela (CNN) -- On the second day of his state visit to Venezuela, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev accompanied Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez on a tour Thursday of a Russian fleet anchored at a local port.

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, left, and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez visit an anti-submarine vessel Thursday.

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, left, and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez visit an anti-submarine vessel Thursday.

The fleet, including the heavy missile cruise ship Peter the Great, arrived at the port of La Guaira on Wednesday.

Russian and Venezuelan ships are scheduled to conduct joint exercises in Venezuelan territorial waters. It will be their first joint naval exercises in the Caribbean Sea.

Chavez has said the military exercises are aimed at working together to prevent terrorism and drug trafficking and are not aimed at any particular country.

The United States and Venezuela have had a strained relationship since Chavez, a socialist, was elected in 1998.

Russian and Venezuelan officials met Wednesday to sign 15 accords dealing with nuclear, military, scientific and technical matters.

Medvedev's visit is scheduled to end Thursday afternoon. He travels next to Cuba, another country at odds with the U.S. government.

Journalist Maria Carolina Gonzalez contributed to this report.

All About VenezuelaRussiaHugo ChavezDmitry Medvedev

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