CARACAS, VENEZUELA- In a rare show of support for Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro assured his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that he had his “strong support,” Kremlin officials said.
Venezuelan President also condemned “destabilizing actions of the United States and NATO” in the call, as well as a Western campaign of “lies and disinformation“, Caracas said.
Hundreds of people have been killed since Putin forced his troops into Ukraine last week after failing to get guarantees that NATO won’t expand its military alliance eastward. Nearly 680,000 people have fled the country.
Putin reiterated during his call with Maduro that the purposes of the military assault were to “protect the civilian population” of Donbas and to convince Kyiv to recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.
According to the statement, it also sought to ensure a “neutral and non-nuclear” Ukrainian relationship with Russia.
After the call, Maduro published a message on Twitter with a photograph of him and Putin, and said he also told the Russian leader Venezuela was “in favour of understanding and dialogue as a way to preserve peace”.
The United States has sanctioned Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, which are all allies of Moscow.
Maduro’s re-election in 2018 was not recognized by the United States and dozens of other countries.
Sergei Ryabkov, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, did not rule out dispatching troops to Venezuela or Cuba if diplomacy with the United States over Ukraine fails.