On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called from Venezuela, the second leg of his Latin American tour, which began with Brazil, to form a union to confront Western blackmail, referring to a “multi-polar world.” The Russian diplomat’s tour will also include Cuba and Nicaragua, with Managua being his last stop.
urged the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov Who continued his tour of South America on Tuesday from Venezuela to form a federation to confront “Western blackmail”.
Lavrov said in a press conference with his Venezuelan counterpart Ivan Gil: “It is necessary to unite efforts to confront attempts of extortion and illegal unilateral pressure on the part of the West,” referring to the “multi-polar world.”
#LIVE: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey #Lavrov and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela Yván Gil hold joint news conference following talks in Caracas https://t.co/XJd9ytN2BI
– MFA Russia (@mfa_russia) April 18, 2023
On Tuesday evening, the Russian minister held talks with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who referred in a tweet on Twitter to “a nice meeting that consolidates bilateral relations and the cooperation plan” between the two countries.
Venezuela is the second leg of Lavrov’s tour in Latin America, which started in Brazil and will also include Cuba and Nicaragua. “Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua are countries that choose their own path,” Lavrov said.
The three countries, which espouse principles inspired by socialism and are criticized by human rights NGOs for their shortcomings in the field of democracy, have difficult relations with the United States and the European Union.
Grata visit a nuestro país del Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores de la Federación de Rusia, Serguéi Lavrov, with quien sostuvimos una amena reunion que afianza las relaciones bilaterales y el mapa de cooperación conjunta en diversas áreas del desarrollo de nuestras naciones. pic.twitter.com/vnTCIs9qVH
– Nicolás Maduro (@Nicolas Maduro) April 19, 2023
On the other hand, the Russian minister touched on the war in Ukraine, stressing, “We will resolve the situation in Ukraine and other conflicts in the world based on the principles of the United Nations Charter on the equality of sovereignty between states, on the basis of the principle that security is an indivisible whole.” Adding: “Our task is to ensure that the Charter of the United Nations is fully implemented and that the right to self-determination is not revoked when it suits the West.”
Support the war on Ukraine
Moscow is under sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States since its invasion of Ukraine and its violation of the internationally recognized borders of this country. At the end of last February, the United Nations General Assembly demanded an “immediate” withdrawal of Russian forces, in a non-binding resolution supported by 141 out of the 193 member states, and seven countries voted against. The resolution renewed its “adherence” to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and called for a “just and lasting” peace.
Venezuela is a major ally of Russia since the era of President Hugo Chavez (1999-2013), who supported Moscow in the 2008 war in Georgia. In his opinion, President Nicolás Maduro repeatedly expressed his support for Russia and its President Vladimir Putin before and after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.
Moscow, for its part, supported Caracas in the face of the raft of sanctions imposed by the United States in an unsuccessful attempt to remove Maduro from power. In February 2020, Lavrov visited Venezuela, during which he condemned US sanctions as well as “extortion”.
Much of the international community, including the United States and the European Union, did not recognize Maduro’s re-election in 2018, in a poll the opposition said was “rigged”.
Agreements in the oil and mining sectors
On the bilateral level, Russia and Venezuela announced the signing of agreements related to oil exploitation and mining. “We are determined to continue progress, especially in the energy sector,” said the Venezuelan foreign minister, who also spoke about the tourism sector.
Margarita Island, abandoned by Western tourists due to the Venezuelan crisis, attracts thousands of tourists, especially Russians, every year after restarting an air route between the two countries that avoids flying in some skies prohibited to Russian airlines due to international sanctions.
Lavrov will also visit Cuba, which is facing a serious economic crisis. In November, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel visited Russia, where he signed agreements related to the supply of oil to the island. However, the island still suffers from a fuel shortage.
Lavrov’s last stop will be Managua, where he is scheduled to meet Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.