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Venezuelan leader congratulates Putin on winning Russian presidential election

March 19, 4:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to Russia’s Central Election Commission, Putin has garnered 76.56% of the vote in the March 18 election with 95% of the ballots counted

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has congratulated Vladimir Putin on winning the Russian presidential election, Venezuela’s Communications and Information Ministry said in a statement.

"On behalf of the Venezuelan people, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro congratulates Russian President Vladimir Putin on being re-elected president for the period of 2018-2024," the statement reads.

Maduro pointed to close ties between Caracas and Moscow, established by Putin and late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. According to Maduro, Venezuela and Russia have become allies in "developing bilateral cooperation and coordinating efforts in the area of international policy, seeking to ensure peace and stability in international relations."

According to Russia’s Central Election Commission, incumbent head of state Vladimir Putin has garnered 76.56% of the vote in the March 18 election with 95% of the ballots counted.

Director of the Lenin State Farm Pavel Grudinin, nominated by the Communist Party of Russia, is second with 11.92%, while leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) Vladimir Zhirinovsky is third with 5.77%.

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