Venezuelan Leader Says Heading to Russian Federation for ‘Serious’ Talks with Putin

Venezuelan Leader Says Heading to Russian Federation for ‘Serious’ Talks with Putin

Maduro has become increasingly isolated in the world under growing sanctions led by the US and the European Union which accuse him of undermining democratic institutions to hold onto power, while overseeing an economic and political crisis worse than the Great Depression.

Turkey is the largest importer of Venezuelan non-monetary gold.

During a joint press conference with Erdogan later on Monday, Maduro defended his country's right to export gold after USA sanctions last month targeted its shipments of the metal.

"Political problems can not be resolved by punishing an entire nation", said the Turkish head of state.

He also reaffirmed Turkey's commitment to continue buying Venezuelan gold, which was targeted by the latest round of USA sanctions.

Maduro brought to the meeting his two most powerful Cabinet members: Hezbollah-linked Economic Minister (and former Vice President) Tareck El Aissami and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez.

"We do not interfere in the trade of the USA or other countries, nobody should interfere with our commercial and economic activities", he said, stressing that the South American country would continue to legally export its gold resources.

Russian Federation and Venezuela enjoy a long history of ties and Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez, known for his passionate tirades against the United States, was a welcome guest at the Kremlin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin right greets his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro during their meeting at the Novo Ogaryovo residence outside
Russian President Vladimir Putin right greets his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro during their meeting at the Novo Ogaryovo residence outside

In the framework of Erdogan's visit, Venezuela and Turkey signed a series of cooperation agreements on energy, mining, and commercial and maritime transport. One of the reasons for the attack was "Venezuela's strong support for Palestine".

Hit by U.S. and European Union sanctions, and ostracized as a dictator by Western powers for his brutal suppression of the opposition - many of whose leaders are in jail or exiled - Maduro has recently reached out to Washington's foes in a bid to raise investment.

The Venezuelan government has been facing a series of U.S. embargoes targeting its economy and the country's officials since 2014, under the pretext of alleged human rights abuses and threats to U.S. national security.

"Tomorrow I will have a very serious and important meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin", Maduro said, TASS news agency reported.

Maduro responded by saying that his government has overcome the challenges it faced.

Erdogan vowed to offer help for Venezuela and he praised Maduro, contrasting the Venezuelan against other world leaders whom he said espouse divisive sentiments.

Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally of the USA, has been involved in its own trade row with Washington, among other disputes.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said ahead of the meeting that Maduro had traveled to Moscow specifically to ask Russian Federation - itself the target of USA sanctions - for financial assistance.

United Nations ambassador won't be part of Cabinet
But the Senate, which alone needs to confirm Nauert, is still under the control of Trump´s Republican Party. She needs to go make some money to pay down some debts", one GOP strategist recently told Roll Call.

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