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Lavrov opposes new US sanctions against Venezuela

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro held a meeting on September 26

MOSCOW, September 27. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a Wednesday meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro strongly opposed the new sanctions Washingon had imposed on Caracas earlier in the week, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

According to the ministry, the parties discussed pressing bilateral issues and cooperation within the United Nations, as well as the situation in Venezuela. "Lavrov expressed strong opposition to the unilateral sanctions Washington had imposed on Venezuela and its leadership this week," the statement reads.

"Russia reaffirmed its ongoing solidarity with Venezuela’s people and government in their fight for the right to independent development, free of any destructive foreign influence, let alone forceful intervention," the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.

On Tuesday, the US Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on Maduro’s wife Celia Flores, Venezuela’s Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, Minister of Communication and Information Jorge Rodriguez and Executive Vice President Delcy Rodriguez.

Venezuela has been going through a severe social and economic crisis for the past several years, facing hyperinflation, the devaluation of the national currency and a shortage of basic necessities. The difficult situation forces many to leave the country. According to the United Nations, about 2.3 mln people have left Venezuela by June 2018, moving mostly to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.

Tensions escalated during mass protests in 2017 and early 2018, as Maduro won the presidential election.