All news

Russian contracts to be revised if Maduro is ousted, predicts analyst

On January 23, the leader of Venezuela’s opposition Juan Guaido declared himself as acting president
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro  EPA-EFE/MIRAFLORES PRESS
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

CARACAS, January 30. /TASS/. Russia’s investment contracts in Venezuela will be revised if President Nicolas Maduro cedes power to the opposition, political analyst and consultant in Venezuela Dimitris Pantulas told TASS.

"Should Venezuela’s new leadership take over, it will scrutinize Russian investment in Venezuela. The odds are its attitude to them will be not very friendly, but I do not think that all Russian investment contracts will enjoy the same treatment," Pantulas said. "I surmise that some of them will be interpreted favorably, and others not. It all depends on how the situation in the country is resolved and on the degree of influence the followers of Chavezism (left-wing ideology based on the ideas of Venezuela’s former president Hugo Chavez - TASS) will retain."

In recent years Russian-Venezuelan trade turnover shrank considerably due to the economic crisis in that country. While in 2013 bilateral trade stood at $2.45 billion, in 2017 it was down to 68.4 million according to Russia’s Federal Customs Service. In the first three quarters of 2018 bilateral trade reached $79.4 billion, showing a two-fold increase against the same period last year.

Russia and Venezuela work on joint investment projects in power production, farming, geological exploration, the pharmaceutical industry, IT and communication technologies, nuclear medicine, and military-technical and other spheres. Russia’s accrued investment in Venezuela exceeds $4.1 billion.

When Maduro visited Moscow in December 2018, the two countries concluded agreements on cooperation in the oil and mining industries, maintenance of Venezuela’s weapon systems and export of wheat to Venezuela. Maduro said $6 billion investment was on the agenda.

Situation in Venezuela

On January 23, the leader of Venezuela’s opposition Juan Guaido, whose appointment as parliamentary speaker had been annulled by the Supreme Court two days before that declared himself as acting president. On the same day the United States recognized him as acting head of state. So did the Lima Group countries except for Mexico, the Organization of American States, and a number of other countries. On January 29 Washington imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil company PDVSA and put some of Venezuela’s assets in US banks under Guaido’s control.

Some European countries, including Britain, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and France on January 26 said they would recognize Guaido as interim president if Maduro refused to call early elections within eight days. Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, Salvador and Turkey came out in Maduro’s support. The UN secretary-general urged a dialogue for resolving the crisis.