Russia vows to support Venezuela in countering external pressure

Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s support on Wednesday here to Venezuela in countering external pressure.

“We will always be in solidarity with you and will defend the right of every people to independently choose the paths of their development and will categorically oppose any illegitimate unilateral methods of blackmail and pressure,” Lavrov told Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez.

In the opening remarks of their meeting, Lavrov said he intended to discuss with Rodriguez in detail the interaction of Russia and Venezuela in international affairs, including in the United Nations and on other multilateral platforms.

Rodriguez, who is paying her second visit to Russia this year, said that she brought the personal thanks of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.

“Today, the Russian Federation is fighting with us and other peoples for independence, freedom and sovereignty,” she said.

She said that the cooperation between the two countries is becoming more intensive and there is serious progress in many directions, adding that illegal U.S. sanctions against Venezuela opened “great opportunities” for Moscow and Caracas in this sphere.

On Monday in Moscow, Rodriguez met with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, who is also a co-president of the Russian-Venezuelan High Level Intergovernmental Commission, Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The meeting focused on various aspects of the Venezuelan economic agenda with an aim to promote programs, plans and social projects of the Venezuelan people, it said.

During her visit to Moscow in March, Rodriguez announced that Venezuela was moving the European office of the country’s state-owned oil and natural gas company PDVSA to Moscow from Lisbon in order to expand cooperation with Russian oil giant Rosneft and gas giant Gazprom.

Last week, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu received his Venezuelan counterpart Vladimir Padrino Lopez in Moscow and they signed an agreement on visits of warships to the ports of both countries.

The defense chiefs also discussed the situation in Venezuela as well as issues of bilateral military and military-technical cooperation.