Moscow – Russia, on Friday condemned U.S. support for Venezuela’s political opposition leader as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, was to meet Russia’s top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov.
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, said U.S. regime-change policies had resulted in “chaos in entire regions, warfare and the collapse of states.”
Russia and neighbouring ally China have been Venezuela’s two strongest backers, propping up the South American country’s crisis-laden economy with billions of dollars in loans and other assistance.
Patrushev said peace in Venezuela should be accomplished through improving the current government institutions.
Lavrov’s visit to the South American country was intended to strengthen ties in many areas from agriculture and medicine, to energy and defense.
He was to appear in a show of support for Maduro two days after U.S. President Donald Trump received Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido at the White House in a visit format typically reserved for Heads of state.
The White House said in a statement that Trump was committed to ending the “corrupt and violent dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro”.
Guaido had earlier appeared in the U.S. Congress during Trump’s State of the Union speech.
“Maduro’s grip on tyranny will be smashed and broken,” Trump said.
Acknowledging Guaido in attendance, Trump said, “Please take this message back to your homeland.”
However, shortages of food and medicine had incited protests in Venezuela in recent years, as the country’s oil-dependent economy suffers from weak prices for the commodity amid a global supply glut.
Meanwhile, Lavrov’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, emphasized that Russia supports was a prospects for finding political solutions to internal disagreements, without destruction, let alone military, and external interference.
Russian defense specialists conducted at least two publicized visits to Venezuela in 2019, as the South American state was on the verge of collapse.
Maduro visited Russian President Vladimir Putin in September, with the leaders exchanging expressions of support.
Putin reaffirmed Russia’s view of Maduro as Venezuela’s “legitimate authority” and promised close military ties.