Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, at the start of a visit to Russia on Thursday, supported his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin's opposition to an expansion of US missile defence sites on European soil. The United States says a defence shield, parts of which it hopes to deploy in Poland and the Czech Republic, will protect against missile attacks launched from "rogue states" such as Iran or North Korea. Moscow says the defence shield is really targeted at Russian defence capabilities and forces Russia to consider aiming its own missiles at Europe. President Chavez praised what he called Mr Putin's "brave resistance" against the United States.
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