Today: Monday, 6 April 2020 year

Russia foreign minister visits Venezuela as US warns of sanctions reprisal

Russia foreign minister visits Venezuela as US warns of sanctions reprisal

The top Russian diplomat Sergei Lavrov holds talks with his Venezuelan counterpart. Over the years, the isolated South American socialist government can rely only on Moscow, its long-time ally and partner.

Sergei Lavrov, the head of the Russia’s foreign ministry, met with Venezuelan top diplomat in Caracas despite Washington’s warnings that it may ramp up sanctions. In fact, Sergei Lavrov is ending his Latin American tour: the diplomat made first stop in Cuba on Wednesday, and then Mexico on Thursday and Venezuela on Friday.

On his arrival to Caracas on Thursday, only hours after the US State Department suggested its Venezuela sanctions program could begin targeting Russia, Sergei Lavrov assured the Latin American country on the continuing support from Russia. In light of the latest developments and sanctions, the Russian oil companies have helped Maduro by buying much of the OPEC nation’s crude.

During his visit to Caracas, Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to meet with President Nicolas Maduro as well as Vice President Delcy Rodriguez and Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza.

Moscow continues to support Venezuela despite the US sanctions

Mr Lavrov on Thursday slammed U.S. “provocations” and said the White House was seeking a pretext for military intervention to Venezuela. Taking into account that this week, U.S. President Donald Trump met with opposition leader Juan Guaido, visit of Lavrov is a very helpful and supportive measure for Maduro.

And on Thursday, U.S. Special Representative to Venezuela Elliott Abrams warned that Russia’s support for Maduro’s government may “no longer be cost free.”

In general, Venezuela’s ruling Socialist Party has overseen a dramatic collapse of a once-bustling economy. A corruption-riddled currency control system and state seizures of private businesses left the country with inflation near 10,000%.