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Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov with Venezuelan President Maduro: strategic partnership

Photo: Gabriela Oraa / AFP

On the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU and USA have again announced significant sanctions: Russia and Venezuela, on the other hand, are deepening their economic partnership. "We have defined the important areas of our cooperation," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists on Tuesday (local time) during a visit to the Venezuelan capital Caracas. This includes oil production and the development of gas fields as well as the areas of agriculture, medicine and pharmaceuticals.

Moscow and Caracas would also increase the extent of their cooperation on nuclear energy, Lavrov said after meetings with his Venezuelan colleague Yvan Gil and Vice President Delcy Rodríguez. Venezuela is "one of Russia's closest and most reliable friends." Moscow and Caracas are “connected by close ties of a strategic partnership.”

For his part, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Gil emphasized the “upturn” in trade between the two countries. Russia has become a reliable supplier of secondary products, he said.

The Russian foreign minister also met with Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro. “We are brotherly peoples who work together for the prosperity of Russia and Venezuela,” Maduro said afterwards on the online service X, formerly Twitter.

Lavrov arrived in Venezuela on Monday evening. He had previously visited Cuba at the start of his trip to Latin America, where he complained about the "hegemony" of the USA and other Western countries. He then travels to Brazil for a meeting of G20 foreign ministers.

Lavrov had already visited Venezuela in April 2023 as part of a tour of Latin America. At that time, he called on Maduro's government to join forces in the face of existing US sanctions.

“Extensive sanctions package” against Russia

After the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine began almost two years ago, the USA and numerous other Western countries tightened their sanctions against Russia. The White House announced another “comprehensive package of sanctions” against Russia for Friday. The package is intended to hold Russia accountable for what happened to Mr. Navalny and for its actions in the war of aggression against Ukraine, said John Kirby, communications director for the National Security Council.

Maduro is one of the few heads of state in the world to justify Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Russia, for its part, is supporting Venezuela in the face of a series of sanctions imposed by the United States on the South American country for not recognizing Maduro's re-election in 2018.