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On June 21-23, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Jorge Arreas, will be in Russia on an official visit. On June 22, negotiations with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov will take place.

Russia and Venezuela are linked by a strategic partnership based on constructive political dialogue, mutually beneficial cooperation, bonds of friendship and mutual sympathy between peoples. Last year, the countries celebrated the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation.

Despite the pandemic, the dynamics of bilateral contacts at the highest and high levels remains stable. On February 19, 2021, a telephone conversation took place between the presidents of Russia and Venezuela, during which the mutual disposition was confirmed to further comprehensively strengthen the entire range of bilateral relations, primarily in the field of combating coronavirus infection.

On March 31, 2021, in Caracas, a meeting of the co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Russian-Venezuelan High-Level Commission – Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Yuri Borisov and Vice-President of Venezuela for Economic Affairs, Minister of Oil, Minister of Industry and National Production T. El-Aissami …

Sergey Lavrov paid a working visit to Caracas in February 2020. In June 2020, Venezuelan Foreign Minister X. Arreasa took part in Moscow in events dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. In November 2020, the Executive Vice President of Venezuela D. Rodriguez paid a visit to Russia.

During the upcoming meeting, the parties will discuss a wide range of issues of bilateral cooperation in the trade, economic, scientific, technical and humanitarian spheres. Particular attention will be paid to cooperation in countering coronavirus infection. Venezuela became the first state in the Western Hemisphere to register the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and join its clinical trials. Currently, there are regular supplies of this and other Russian medicines to Venezuela.

Despite the pandemic, there has been an increase in bilateral trade. The Venezuelan delegation took an active part in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2021.

A milestone in the development of Russian-Venezuelan cooperation was the opening from May 2021 of direct regular flights between Moscow and Karkas (carried out by the Venezuelan state airline Konvias). This step is intended to help build up trade exchanges, tourist flows, and strengthen mutual business ties.

The bilateral legal framework continues to be strengthened. In March 2021, the Intergovernmental Agreement on Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes was signed, which opens up wide opportunities for the implementation of joint projects in the space sector.

Traditionally, scholarships to study in Russia are in high demand among Venezuelan youth (in the 2020/2021 academic year, 77 places were allocated to Venezuela in Russian universities).

The ministers will conduct a thorough exchange of views on current topics of the global and regional agenda. Russia and Venezuela traditionally maintain a high level of coordination of interaction in the world arena, based on the desire to build a more just democratic international system, readiness to uphold strict observance of international law, the principles of sovereign equality of states and non-interference in their internal affairs.

As part of the solution of these tasks, Venezuela supports many Russian initiatives at the UN: resolutions on the fight against the glorification of Nazism, on the non-placement of the first weapons in space, on confidence-building measures in outer space, on the strengthening and development of the system of agreements on arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, on international information security and on countering the use of ICT for criminal purposes. Caracas is voting in solidarity with Russia against politically biased resolutions on Crimea, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Syria.

The ministers will also discuss developments in the situation in and around Venezuela. The principled position of Russia is that the solution of the contradictions existing in Venezuelan society should be peaceful, political, inclusive and be the result of negotiations between Venezuelans. Such a dialogue is already under way and makes an important contribution to stabilizing the internal political and socio-economic situation in Venezuela. Russia will continue to provide all-round support to the government and people of Venezuela in protecting national sovereignty and the right to independently choose the path of development.

Russia strongly opposes the use of illegal unilateral coercive measures against Venezuela that undermine the economy of this country and limit the ability of the authorities to effectively resist the spread of COVID-19, to carry out the necessary purchases of food, medical equipment and medicines.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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