MOSCOW, October 2. /TASS/. Russia will continue to actively support the efforts of Venezuela's leadership to defend the country's sovereignty and counter illegal sanctions, Russian Federation Council (upper house or senate) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said.
"Russia has always stood in solidarity with the people of Venezuela in the face of the difficulties you have had as a result of interference in Venezuela's internal affairs. We will continue to actively and resolutely support the efforts of the Venezuelan leadership to defend the sovereignty, independence of their country and to counter illegal unilateral sanctions," the speaker said at a meeting with the President of the National Assembly (Parliament) of Venezuela Jorge Rodriguez, held within the framework of the Russia - Latin America parliamentary conference.
She noted that the situation in Venezuela is gradually normalizing due to the efforts of the government. "They have been able to overcome the crisis phenomena in the economy and reach sustainable growth rates. As your friends, we are sincerely happy about this," Matviyenko emphasized.
She thanked the leadership of Venezuela "for its balanced position with regard to the difficult situation surrounding Russia." The chairwoman also noted that the parliamentarians of the two countries have always maintained the warmest and closest relations. "But in recent years, for various reasons, they have not been as active as we would like them to be. But today there is every condition for us to resume our active interaction. I think both sides are interested in this. I believe that your visit to Russia today is also evidence of your interest in the expansion and development of parliamentary cooperation," the speaker said.
The senator noted that over the years, Russia and Venezuela "have amassed a significant amount of mutually beneficial cooperation, which is based on the friendship of the two countries and mutual respect of the peoples." According to her, relations were especially strong during the presidency of Hugo Chavez, who was a close and good friend of Russia. "It's been 10 years since he passed away. On behalf of the president [of Russia], I took part in the farewell ceremony in Caracas. I had an opportunity to personally witness the Venezuelan people's endless love for their leader. He was an outstanding statesman, a great patriot of his country and, of course, left a huge mark not only on the history of Venezuela, but also on the world at large. We are happy that we continue active cooperation and interaction even today," Matviyenko concluded.