Nicolas Maduro and Vladimir Putin: United by oil, isolation | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW

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The news seemed to come out of nowhere. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced his “important working visit”with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Twitter.

It seems that Putin is happy to continue to lend a helping hand to Venezuela. Maduro’s visit comes as the country’s economy is spiraling and it isincreasing isolated on the world stage. The president has been condemned for ordering violent measures against the opposition and protesters. Putin acknowledged Maduro’s challenges: “We know and understand that the situation in Venezuela is still difficult.” And the Russian president praised his counterpart’s efforts to reach a “mutual understanding in society” and even warned that he condemns any attempt to “change the situation [in Venezuela] with force.” Putin is known to have a natural distrust for coups and popular uprisings.

The Russian president’s gracious tone might seem surprising considering the financial imbalance between the countries. Ahead of the meeting, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the presidents would discuss the possibility of financial aid for Venezuela. “That is why Maduro is visiting,” he said. Russia is an important creditor for Venezuela. The government and the Russian oil giant Rosneft have lent Venezuela at least $17 billion (€15 billion) since 2006, according to the news agency Reuters. Igor Sechin, Rosneft’s chief executive, reportedly flew to Caracas in November to complain about delayed oil shipments that are supposed to…



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