MOSCOW – Venezuela’s Socialist President Nicolas Maduro thanked his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on Wednesday for his continuing support through what he described as difficult moments that his South American nation was overcoming.
Maduro, who has faced violent opposition protests over the last year, was in Moscow to meet with Putin.
“This is a very opportune visit because good things are happening. We have entered a new stage,” said Maduro, referring to fresh dialogue that has started with his opposition back in Venezuela.
Speaking alongside Putin at the Kremlin, Maduro said it was important for Russia and Venezuela to maintain bilateral contact.
Maduro, who took over Venezuela’s presidential office in 2013 following the death of his ally Hugo Chavez, thanked Putin for a recent grain deal struck between the two countries.
He said the only way for Venezuela to overcome its crises was through hard work and faith.
Putin recalled that the last time the pair had met was in October 2016, although he added that they maintained regular telephone contact.
He said Russia was closely following the discussions taking place between political leaders in Venezuela and the efforts being made by several mediator countries.
Maduro and Putin are expected to discuss a wide-range of topics, from debt structuring to technological and military cooperation.