|teleSUR | Feb 5, 2017|
|Russian President Vladimir Putin and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. | Photo: Reuters|
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday that his country supports dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition groups, as long as external forces don’t get involved
“With regard to Venezuela's tense internal political and socio-economic situation, we express solidarity with the friendly people of this country, our strong support for the course of the legitimately elected Government, aimed at establishing a national dialogue in order to overcome existing discrepancies in the Venezuelan society, and advocate that the problems be addressed within the constitutional line, without destructive external interference,” Lavrov said in a statement, according to Sputnik International.
The Russian Foreign Ministry released the statement ahead of an upcoming bilateral meeting between the two nations. Lavrov is expected to meet with his Venezuelan counterpart Delcy Rodriguez in Moscow on Feb. 6.
Both foreign ministers are slated to discuss joint energy, agriculture and industrialization projects.
Putin’s administration, a longtime ally of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, has frequently opposed U.S. support for violent right-wing opposition groups in the socialist country.
“Venezuela is a friendly country and they [the U.S.] are trying to destroy it from the outside,” Lavrov wrote in a statement last year, addressing rising opposition protests.
Around the same time last year, when Venezuelan officials discovered that opposition groups were hoarding food and currency, Russia supplied Venezuela with tons of wheat.
Earlier this year, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro awarded Putin with the newly-created "Hugo Chavez Prize for Peace and Sovereignty” for his support of the Bolivarian Revolution throughout U.S. campaigns to destabilize the country.
“From Venezuela, we recognize Putin as a great leader of peace, as a great ruler of the multi-center and multi-polar world. We always learn a lot from him,” Maduro said in his announcement of the award.
Since 2012, Russia and Venezuela have signed more than 250 bilateral agreements. These include oil, military technology, education, culture, housing, habitat, and technology partnerships.