Venezuela assures “strong support” for Russia

Dozens of people have been killed and nearly 680,000 have fled Ukraine since the start of the war.

Caracas:

In rare support for Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro assured Vladimir Putin of his “strong support” during a phone call on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Kremlin.

In the call from Caracas, the Venezuelan leader also condemned “the destabilizing actions of the United States and NATO” and spoke out against a Western campaign of “lies and disinformation”, he said. declared.

Dozens of people have been killed and nearly 680,000 have fled Ukraine since Putin ordered his troops into the country last week after failing to secure guarantees that NATO would not expand its military alliance to the east.

During the call with Maduro, Putin insisted the goals of the military assault were to “protect the civilian population” of the separatist Donbass region and to get Kiev to recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.

He also sought to ensure a “neutral and non-nuclear” Ukrainian stance towards Russia, the statement said.

After the call, Maduro posted a message on Twitter with a photo of him and Putin, and said he had also told the Russian leader that Venezuela was “in favor of understanding and dialogue as a way to preserve the peace”.

Venezuela, along with Cuba and Nicaragua, all targets of US sanctions, are Latin American allies of Moscow.

The United States and dozens of other countries do not recognize Maduro’s 2018 re-election, which they claim was fraudulent.

During an interview in December, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov did not rule out Moscow sending forces to Venezuela or Cuba if diplomacy failed with the United States on Ukraine.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Christi C. Elwood