Comments and statements by Foreign Ministry Spokesman

4 February 201710:25

Comment by the Information and Press Department on Foreign Minister of Venezuela Delcy Rodriguez’ visit to Russia

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Talks between Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Foreign Minister of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Delcy Rodriguez, who will arrive in Russia on a working visit, will be held in Moscow on February 6.

The upcoming talks will be held as a follow-up to the contacts between the two countries at the highest and high levels, primarily, the meeting between President Putin and President Maduro in Istanbul in October 2016, and the 12th session of the Intergovernmental Intergovernmental Russian-Venezuelan High Level Commission in Caracas in December 2016. The talks are designed to give a new impetus to the entire range of Russian-Venezuelan relations and to confirm their mutual willingness to re-invigorate strategic relations between Moscow and Caracas.

An intensive dialogue is maintained between the foreign ministries of both countries. Foreign ministers meet on a regular basis, with the most recent such meeting held in New York in September 2016. The plan of ministerial consultations for 2015–2018 is being implemented.

Venezuela is one of Russia’s leading partners in Latin America and on the international stage. We are supportive of Venezuela’s independent foreign policy. Our countries jointly oppose attempts to use forceful dictates in international affairs. Our countries are united by the consistent upholding of the principles of multilateralism, primacy of international law, non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, the rejection of extraterritorial application of national laws and coups as a method for changing governments. Moscow and Caracas productively interact within the UN governing bodies and at other international platforms.

Our relations with Venezuela in the sphere of trade, the economy and investment continue to progress. Rosneft, Gazprombank, Inter RAO and Rostec actively operate on the Venezuelan market. Our investment cooperation is based on joint projects in the energy sector, primarily joint development of oil and gas fields.

Alongside other countries, Russia and Venezuela are taking action to stabilise the situation on the international oil market, and closely coordinate their actions in this area with OPEC and major independent oil producers.

Our interaction in education, culture and the humanitarian sector ranks high in our cooperation. The number of student exchanges and contacts between our respective researchers and cultural figures is on the rise, which is instrumental in increasing the level of understanding and sympathy between our two nations. In November 2016, Russia took part in the 12th Venezuela International Book Fair (FILVEN 2016) in Caracas.

Venezuela plays a significant role in promoting Latin American integration, which is particularly important in light of the increasing role and influence of that region in international affairs. We are interested in further promoting our cooperation with Caracas within the format of such influential Latin American associations as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).

In connection with the current tense internal political and socioeconomic situation in Venezuela, we express our solidarity with the friendly people of that country, and our strong support for the course of the legitimately elected government, designed to establish a national dialogue in order to overcome the current discrepancies in Venezuelan society. We stand for all the issues to be addressed in line with the Constitution, without any destructive interference from the outside. The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly made statements to this effect concerning the political situation in Venezuela (on May 23, October 3 and 27 and November 14 in 2016, and January 12 and 20 this year). We note the importance of the statements of the representatives of the Latin American countries, as well as those coming from other regions of the world, on the lack of alternative to intra-Venezuelan dialogue.

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