Early this month, Saab Group, which is the biggest producer of defence in Sweden, announced its withdrawal from an global trade deal with Venezuela about weapons. It must be noted that the Swedish company was among the major suppliers of weapons to the South American nation. But, Saab said that it could no longer continue with such an global trade deal.
According to Saab Group, it could not sell anti-tank and anti-aircraft devices to the Latin nation due to an arms ban imposed by the US on Venezuela. Under the embargo, defence makers couldn’t sell to Venezuela any weapon, which is made in the US or that has one or more US-made parts. Prior to the arms coverage, Bofors, which is a subsidiary of Saab Group, had supplied the South American country with weapons during the past twenty years. The current embargo though has ended the worldwide trade deal on arms between the Swedish firm and Venezuela.
It must be said that during the previous years, Sweden had provided anti-tank rifles, rocket launchers, and anti-aircraft missiles to Venezuela that amounted to about $150 million. Currently, Venezuela isn’t involved in a new International Trade deal on weapons. However, experts said that President Hugo Chavez would soon discover the need to replace its older weapons and increase its missile supply.
The embassy of the United States in Sweden praised the compliance of the Saab Group to the embargo that resisted the trade of weapons to countries that did not fully cooperate with the struggle against terrorism led by the US government. Venezuelan officials were taken by surprise after the new had been published. Defence Minister Raul Isaias Baduel advised to reporters that the government wasn’t officially informed by Bofors about its withdrawal from the worldwide trade deal on arms. But he said that he would be discussing the issue with Mr. Chavez so as to come up with an official reaction to the news.
Following the news came out, a military officer stated that Venezuela is also considering to negotiate an international trade deal with Switzerland regarding weapons. He added that although the door of Sweden had already closed, other nations would soon open for Venezuela. Mr. Chavez was able to close the deal since the weapons manufactured in Russia do not contain US-made pieces. Prior to the international trade deal between the two nations, the US had warned Russia not to sell arms to Venezuela. The visit of Mr. Chavez to Russia was part of a series of international excursions, which were aimed at seeking trade opportunities and gaining the support of other state regarding Venezuela’s bid to join the UN Security council.