Caracas, Oct 6 (IANS) Russia and Venezuela have boosted military ties in an apparent sign of Moscow’s continued support for the South American nation amid a political crisis.
The development took place during a meeting between visiting Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro here on Saturday, Efe news reported.
The Venezuelan leader thanked Russia for the military cooperation between the two countries, saying his nation had a solid defence grid to resist any outside aggression.
He said that the two sides also renewed their agreements on the military-technical area during the meeting between the leaders.
“The cooperation that according to the schedule perfectly and we have renewed all contracts for support, advice, and progress in the very important military-technical aspect,” said Maduro.
The President also indicated that the two countries have made progress in advancing agreements on the exploration of oil and gas.
“There are new economic ventures with technology transfer, the participation of Russian companies in all strategic (oil and gas) production areas of the country. We have advanced tremendously throughout the oil, gas, basic business area,” he said.
The two sides have also signed 264 agreements in the sectors like energy, mining, finance, agriculture, industries, commerce, and transport.
Maduro stressed the importance of Borisov’s visit as an opportunity to consolidate the progress made during the Venezuelan President’s recent trip to Moscow where he met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin in September.
The two presidents were said to have discussed Caracas’ sovereign debt of $3 billion to Moscow which has acted as a lender of last resort for the South American nation.
The Russian Ministry of Finance confirmed to the RIA Novosti agency that Venezuela was up to date on the payment of its debt and that it recently made another payment.
Maduro, who is not recognized as a legitimate President by 60 countries, including the US, thanked Putin for his support.
He said he was facing “imperial aggression”, referring to the sanctions imposed on him by several countries.