MOSCOW, September 23. /TASS/. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has expressed gratitude to Russia for supporting the Latin American country’s sovereignty and for solidarity with its people.
"Russia as a global leader has expressed strong support for Venezuela’s sovereignty and its right to peace. I thank Russia and all Russian people for their understanding and solidarity with the Venezuelan people," Maduro said in his interview with Rossiya-24 TV channel broadcast on Monday.
Maduro emphasized that Russia and Venezuela have relations characterized by mutual trust between their leaders. The Venezuelan leader said he maintained constant contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "We have met numerous times in Moscow and at various international platforms. We constantly exchange letters with common views and proposals on developing bilateral relations and have phone conversations," Maduro stressed.
"And certainly, in the coming days and weeks we will continue promoting our relations further," he noted.
Earlier, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Venezuelan leader was expected to pay a visit to Russia in the near future. In July, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov discussed preparations for Maduro’s visit to Russia during his trip to Caracas.
The political crisis in Venezuela exacerbated on January 23, when Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas. Several countries, including the United States, most of the EU states, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him.
Incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in turn, dismissed the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US. In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.