Caracas is the second leg of Lavrov’s tour of Latin America. The Russian minister was received at the highest level – in addition to negotiations with Maduro, he held talks with Vice President Delcy Rodriguez and Foreign Minister Ivan Gil.
Venezuela’s president said the talks “will strengthen bilateral relations and joint cooperation in various fields.” Lavrov, for his part, particularly noted the interaction of the two countries within the framework of the Group of Friends in defense of the Charter of the United Nations, which “occupies a very promising leadership position in the defense of the principles on which the organization is founded”.
Oil production, medicine, agriculture, space – this is not a complete list of areas in which Moscow and Caracas will strengthen their ties
There were enough topics to discuss. Russia and Venezuela are ready to continue to support each other in the face of sanctions from the United States and other Western countries. These were joint projects in oil production, medicine, agriculture and space exploration. Lavrov drew attention to the fact that Russia and Venezuela have agreed on practical steps to expand trade and investment cooperation, contacts between business circles, taking into account current realities . The parties also intend to accelerate the coordination of new intergovernmental documents.
Lavrov and Gil said Russia and Venezuela are developing an alternative to the SWIFT financial transaction system. In addition, the Venezuelan minister said he expects to announce “good news” soon regarding the acceptance of cards from the Mir payment system in the country. “This will certainly be discussed at the meeting of the intergovernmental commission, which will be held in the coming weeks in Russia,” he assured.
Another concrete result of the talks was the decision to double the quotas for the education of Venezuelan citizens in Russian higher education institutions – up to 200 scholarships per year.
Lavrov pointed out that more and more Latin American countries are trying to get out of the influence of the United States, realizing that this dependence “does not lead to good”. The minister recalled that Venezuela is among “Russia’s most reliable partners”. “We fully support the position of our Venezuelan friends,” Lavrov continued, adding that Russia would support Venezuela in any way so that its economy becomes independent “from pressure from the United States and other Western actors.” . “With Venezuela, we have a very rich program and cooperation that strengthens the foundations of our economies, without depending on the whims and blackmail of our Western colleagues,” Lavrov said. His Venezuelan counterpart pointed out that the parties have reviewed and updated bilateral agreements and cooperation agreements, adding that the two countries have signed more than 300 such documents so far.
After Caracas, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry continued his five-day regional tour, leaving for Nicaragua to discuss the development of bilateral relations between Russia and Nicaragua, promising economic projects and interaction in international organizations .
Lavrov will then travel to Cuba, where his visit will coincide with the opening of the first session of the new parliament and the likely re-election of Miguel Diaz-Canel as the island nation’s president.
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