Russia stands by Venezuela as President Nicolas Maduro battles an opposition that is trying to destabilize the country, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday.
“We have confirmed solidarity with the people of Venezuela and our firm support for the policy of the government of President Maduro aimed at preventing destabilization of the situation,” Lavrov said, according to Russia's state news outlet Itar-Tass.
Lavrov welcomed Maduro's efforts to engage in dialogue with Venezuela's right-wing opposition. He praised the Venezuelan leader for the “organization of nationwide dialogue with the constructive opposition in order to resolve any emerging problems within the constitutional framework and without any foreign intervention.”
Since early 2014, the far right of Venezuela's opposition has repeatedly called for “la salida” (the exit) from Maduro's government, using violence against civilians and security forces to try to pressure the president into resigning. Since then, Maduro's government says it has repeatedly uncovered and foiled coup plots.
Lavrov's comments in support of Maduro came after he met with his Venezuelan counterpart, Delcy Rodriguez in Russia. The meeting was the fourth round of high-level diplomatic talks between Moscow and Caracas since the start of the year.
According to Rodriguez, the two ministers discussed, “issues of trade, the energy sector and military and technical cooperation.”
She explained that Russian investment is making Venezuela increasingly self-sufficient, emphasizing that the two countries have a mutually beneficial relationship based on respect and equality.
“This will allow us to construct a Venezuela that can produce various goods, and meet its potential in terms of mining, agriculture, trade and other areas,” Rodriguez said.
However, she warned the far right-wing's efforts to destabilize Venezuela is threatening the progress made under Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez.
“We have seen how constitutional and legitimate governments have been overthrown (by coups), we have seen how they have been done through the use of mass media and financial tactics – but we also know how to defend ourselves against these actions,” she said.