Moscow and Caracas to strengthen cooperation on energy, including nuclear

Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pose for a photo before a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Caracas, February 20, 2024 (AFP/Gabriela Oraa)

Russia and Venezuela agreed on Tuesday to expand their oil cooperation and considered “peaceful use of nuclear energy” during a visit to Caracas by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The head of Russian diplomacy, who arrived in Venezuela on Monday evening from Cuba as part of a new tour in Latin America, met his Venezuelan counterpart Yvan Gil and Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez.

“We have defined the important areas of our cooperation,” he assured during a press conference and according to the official translation, referring to “the expansion of cooperation in oil production, the development of oil fields, gas, agriculture, medicine and pharmaceuticals.

“We also consider the area of ​​peaceful use of nuclear energy promising, we also discussed this issue today, we agreed to increase the volume of cooperation in all these areas,” added the Russian minister without further details.

Mr. Lavrov had already visited Venezuela in April 2023, when he invited the government of President Nicolas Maduro to a “union” of forces to face American sanctions.

Mr. Gil, for his part, underlined the “takeoff” of trade between the two countries. “Russia has become a reliable supplier of secondary products,” he assured, without giving figures.

Relations between Caracas and Moscow strengthened under the government of former President Hugo Chavez (1999-2013), who at the time supported Moscow during the war in Georgia in 2008.

Nicolas Maduro has repeatedly expressed his support for Russia and Vladimir Putin before and after the start of the war in Ukraine.

Moscow, for its part, provided its support to Caracas in the face of the battery of sanctions imposed by the United States to try, in vain, to dislodge Mr. Maduro from power.

“Venezuela is one of the closest and most reliable friends of Latin America and the world in general. We are united by close relations of strategic partnership,” Lavrov assured.

In Cuba on Monday, he castigated the “domination” and “hegemony” of the United States and Western countries over the world order.

After his visit to Venezuela, Lavrov will travel to Brazil to attend a meeting of G20 foreign ministers.

© 2024 AFP

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