Moscow, Sep 8 (UNI) Russia today denied that there was a link between the Russian-Venezuelan naval exercises and the Georgian conflict.
''It is a pre-planned event that is not in any way connected to the situation in the Caucasus. The agreement to hold the manouvres was reached a long time before what happened on August 7-8,'' the official spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Andrei Nesterenko said in a statement.
Mr Nesterenko assured the joint naval manoueveres would not target any ''third party.'' The naval exercises are to be held in the Caribbean in late November-early December.
The spokesman for the Russian Navy Capt Igor Dygalo told mediapersons today that Russian naval task force from the Northern Fleet will go on a tour of duty in the Atlantic Ocean and participate in the joint naval manouvres with the Venezuelan navy.
''The decision to conduct Russian-Venezuelan naval exercises was taken at the meeting of two presidents in July this year,'' Mr Dygalo said.
''During the joint drills, the ships and naval aircraft will practice coordinated manouvering, search-and-rescue and communication,'' he said.
UNI XC RJ AS1956