Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela, announced that he supports the decisions made by Vladimir Putin, the leader of the Russian government, this Tuesday (22). On the same date, Putin obtained Senate approval to send troops to the separatist regions of Ukraine.
“Venezuela is with Putin, it is with Russia, it is with the brave and just causes of the world, and we will ally more and more,” Maduro said in a televised meeting with ministers.
Maduro’s comments come amid the escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine. On Monday, Putin announced the recognition of the independence of the breakaway republics in eastern Ukraine.
Maduro noted that his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, supported Russia in other regional conflicts and assured that friendship with “the people of Russia” would remain “forever.”
Hugo Chavez holds a replica of a Russian plane during a meeting with then-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in October 2008. – Photo: Palacio Miraflores/The New York Times
Previously, Chávez supported Russia during the August 2008 war with Georgia for control of South Ossetia. After the conflict, Moscow recognized the independence of this province and Abkhazia, another breakaway Georgian pro-Russian region.
Maduro, who received Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov in mid-February this year, noted, “Always Venezuela, always Chaveza’s revolution with Putin, with Russia, with the people of Russia.”
“Venezuela declares its full support for President Vladimir Putin in defense of peace in Russia, in defense of peace in that region, courageous defense of and full support for Russia!”
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at a press conference on January 24 – Photo: Jhonn Zerpa / AFP
The president also said that the United States and “NATO intend by military means to eliminate Russia.”
“They intend to encircle Russia, direct all NATO weapons,” his secretary general estimated that Russia was preparing for a “large-scale” attack against Ukraine.
The relationship between Russia and Venezuela
Russia is one of Maduro’s main allies in the face of international pressure, led by the United States, to remove him from power with a series of financial sanctions.
Weeks ago, with tension already on the border with Ukraine, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu considered the possibility of sending military forces to Venezuela and Cuba, something that was not officially announced.
Relations between Moscow and Caracas deepened with Chavez’s rise to power in 1999 (he ruled until his death in 2013), who bought hundreds of millions of dollars in Russian weapons and military equipment amid an oil boom that ended in 2014.
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