Venezuela-Russia vow economic cooperation despite US sanctions

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Caracas, Feb 9 (IANS) Venezuela and Russia have agreed to increase investment in diverse spheres despite sanctions by the US, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said here.

“We have agreed on our path of future work, to deepen economic cooperation of investments in other areas, despite illegitimate sanctions,” Xinhua news agency quoted Lavrov as saying on saturday.

The priority sectors for investment are energy, natural resources, industry, and agriculture, Lavrov said, adding that great importance would also be placed on developing military cooperation.

In reference to the negotiations between the Venezuelan government and the opposition, Lavrov extended his support to President Nicolas Maduro for his attempts to launch national dialogue.

Delcy Rodriguez, the Vice President of Venezuela, said that this year, the governments of Russia and Venezuela would celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations.

“In the framework of the 75th anniversary of our relationship, we will be holding in Venezuela (a session of) the (Russia-Venezuela) High-Level Intergovernmental Commission, where we will be ratifying and expanding economic cooperation,” Rodriguez said.

The Russian foreign minister arrived in Caracas on Friday morning as part of his Latin American tour, which had taken him to Mexico and Cuba.

The US has been pursuing a policy of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation against the Venezuelan government in support of opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Last month, the US Treasury blacklisted seven delegates of the Venezuelan National Assembly, claiming that the designated persons “took steps to undermine the elections process in the National Assembly”.

Also in January, the US government designated 15 aircraft as the “blocked property” of Venezuelan state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela.

–IANS

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