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Sergei Lavrov and Nicolas Maduro Hold Joint Press Conference in Caracas - Video

© Sputnik / Alexander Vilf / Go to the mediabankRussia's Foreing Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russia's Foreing Minister Sergei Lavrov - Sputnik International
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Caracas on 7 February as part of his Latin American tour.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held a joint press conference in Caracas following their bilateral meeting.

Upon his arrival at the airport, the top Russian diplomat was welcomed by his Venezuelan counterpart, Jorge Arreaza. The two are also scheduled to have bilateral talks.

Sergei Lavrov last visited Venezuela in 2011, during Hugo Chavez's presidency.

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Russia Rejects Any Scenarios of Venezuelan Government Ousting - Lavrov

Russia regards all attempts to oust the legitimate Venezuelan government by force as totally unacceptable, Lavrov said.

"The crisis in Venezuela is a result of attempts to launch a large-scale campaign aimed at ousting the legitimate government with use of all options, as organisers of this campaign say, including use of force. We consider such scenarios completely unacceptable", Lavrov said.

Russia's foreign minister called lifting the US economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela as soon as possible is one of the foremost tasks for all Venezuelan patriots, adding that the sanctions had been introduced to undermine the situation in the country, with the common people being hardest hit by these actions, regardless of their political views.

"We have firmly emphasised our adherence to respecting Venezuela's sovereignty, our solidarity with the Venezuelan leadership and the Venezuelan people in their struggle against an illegal pressure by the United States and its accomplices", the diplomat added.

Washington's restrictions have been imposed on Caracas for years. After opposition leader Juan Guaido illegally proclaimed himself interim president of Venezuela, the US imposed further sanctions on the country's officials and companies in a bid to exacerbate the country’s already dire situation and dislodge Maduro.

Lavrov Says Elections Only Opportunity for Radicals to Have Future in Venezuela's Politics

"We expect you to have a common approach to approval of new members of the National Election Council and preparation for elections to the National Assembly in 2020. By the way, I am sure that these elections are the only opportunity for radicals not to deprive themselves of any future in Venezuelan politics", Lavrov said.

The Russian top diplomat also praised the work done by the Roundtable of National Dialogue, a forum that brings together government officials and moderate opposition, noting its inclusive nature, unlike other negotiation mechanisms. Lavrov said that Maduro had promised that the National Roundtable would stay open to all parts of society.

Russia, Venezuela Agree to Boost Coordination of Actions on Global Arena

Russia and Venezuela agreed to deepen coordination of actions on the international arena and to further develop economic and humanitarian ties in face of illegal US sanctions, Lavrov said.

A Russian-Venezuelan commission on trade and economic cooperation will convene in May, Lavrov said.

He added that Russia and Venezuela would also further develop defence industry cooperation to boost Venezuela's defence capability in the face of external threats.

Additionally, Lavrov said he discussed with his Venezuelan counterpart and the vice president the concrete steps to timely implement agreements between Russia and Venezuela.

Russia also expects Maduro looking forward to welcoming Maduro to this year's 9 May military parade in Moscow celebrating the end of World War II.

Maduro Reaffirms Caracas' Devotion to Democracy in Talks With Lavrov

"As President Maduro has reaffirmed once again today, Venezuela rejects imperialist pressure and illegal sanctions. President Maduro has reaffirmed that Venezuela will follow the path of democracy and peace", Vice President Rodriguez said.
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