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MINSK: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Saturday promised to supply Belarus with oil for "the next 200 years", during a meeting with his counterpart Alexander Lukashenko.
"The refineries of Belarus will not lack petrol for the next 200 years," Chavez said, adding that he was "aware of the needs" of the former Soviet republic, the Belarussian presidency said.
"The Venezuelan people stand with Belarus like it is their homeland, and vice-versa," the left-wing firebrand was quoted as saying by the Belarussian presidency's information service.
"We are comrades, together we are building a multi-polar world, which constitutes an alternative to imperialism," said Chavez in a reference to the United States, a regular target of his rhetoric.
Lukashenko praised the good relationship between the two countries during the meeting, which lasted three and a half hours.
"We will do so much for Venezuela that you will never regret having relations with us," Lukashenko said.
The two countries signed an agreement for Belarus to buy 30 million tonnes of petrol from over three years starting in 2011.
Chavez and Lukashenko had agreed a deal in March for the supply of 80,000 barrels of oil per day, as part of a push by Belarus to solidify industrial and commercial cooperation with Venezuela.
While Belarus covets Venezuela's natural resources, it can offer Venezuela its know-how in arms manufacturing, a legacy from the Soviet era.
The visit by Chavez comes amid deteriorating relations between Minsk and Moscow, which has signalled it may not support Lukashenko when he seeks a fourth presidential term in December elections.
In June, Russia drastically cut gas supplies to Belarus amid a row over payments, a tactic used by Moscow to apply pressure on former Soviet states.
Chavez kicked off a five-nation tour in Moscow, and he will travel to Ukraine on Monday before visiting Iran and Syria.
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