February 27, 2019
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez will hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Friday, the RIA news agency reported, the latest in a flurry of visits by Venezuelan politicians to staunch ally Russia.
Moscow has backed socialist President Nicolas Maduro in the face of a challenge from opposition leader Juan Guaido who declared himself interim president in January, a move backed by most Western nations.
The prospect of Maduro being ousted is a geopolitical and economic headache for Moscow and Russia has accused the United States of trying to engineer an illegal coup to topple him.
Russia, alongside China, has become a creditor of last resort for Caracas, lending it billions of dollars as its economy implodes. Moscow has also helped its military and oil industry and provided wheat.
Venezuela’s deputy foreign minister, Ivan Gil, and the country’s industry minister, Tareck El Aissami, were in Moscow last week for talks with senior officials.
(Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Andrew Osborn)