Putin hails Chavez as 'uncommon, strong man'

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday hailed his late Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez as an uncommon and strong man who had made a huge contribution to relations between Moscow and Caracas.

"He was an uncommon and strong man who looked into the future and always set the highest target for himself," Putin said in a telegram of condolence, thanking Chavez for laying the "solid basis" for Russia-Venezuela relations.