Russian Foreign Minister Serguei Lavrov met this Tuesday (20) with the President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro and the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Yván Gil, in Caracas. In a statement after the meeting, Lavrov and Maduro spoke about relations between the countries and geopolitical issues affecting Venezuela.

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The Russian criticized the seizure of the Venezuelan plane by the United States. He called the attitude a “flagrant violation of international law” and said that Venezuela is already suffering from sanctions from the US and “satellite” countries. The Venezuelan foreign minister also criticized what he called the “theft” of the plane. He said it was an act of “international piracy” and reinforced that there was no legal justification.

“[O avião] It remained in Argentina, even though Emtrasur showed all the positions of the plane, the legality of its operation, of bringing food, medical and primary care supplies to the population. The movement put the region’s aeronautical security at risk, violating the airspace of some countries it passed through,” he said.

The Venezuelan state-owned Emtrasur plane had been detained at Ezeiza airport in Buenos Aires since June 2022 under a judicial cooperation treaty between Argentina and the USA. The aircraft left the Argentine capital on February 12 and arrived in Miami, in the United States. The chancellor called the maneuver of turning off the aerial identification system to pass through some sections a “risk”.

Still according to him, this “is a demonstration of how far the US can go in its desire to attack Venezuela and how far the government of Venezuela can go. [presidente Javier] Milei, who violated each and every international standard in terms of civil aeronautics and legal protection for our company.”

Lavrov also met with Vice President Delcy Rodríguez. The two inaugurated a monument to the Russian poet Alexánder Pushkin and spoke about strategic issues, pharmaceutical cooperation, as well as the installation of an insulin factory with 100% transfer of Russian technology.

Sanctions and Barbados agreement

The foreign ministers reinforced the relationship and cooperation between the countries. Yván Gil said that the alliance with Russia, BRICS countries, including Brazil, was fundamental for the improvement in the Venezuelan economy, even with the sanctions imposed by the United States.

Another topic discussed was the Barbados agreement. Lavrov reinforced monitoring of government and opposition actions on the document. According to him, the Russian government will continue to encourage negotiations between the government and opposition in Venezuela, in addition to contributing to the Venezuelan State. The Russian criticized the US blockade and called the sanctions “dictatorial methods” and “illegal”.

The government and the opposition signed an agreement in October 2023 in Barbados to define a schedule and technical issues for the 2024 elections. The meeting between the two parties defined that the election will be held in the second half of the year, but there is still no set date . The agreement also established that the European Union, UN (United Nations) and the Carter Center will send observation missions to monitor the vote.

Still according to the Venezuelan chancellor, the country is experiencing economic growth, even with the sanctions. “The majority of countries condemn the sanctions and as we change our balance, our exchange with other countries and with other currencies, we see a new economy emerge, a new trade.”

According to Lavrov, Venezuela is one of Venezuela’s “closest friends” in the region.

Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho


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