Russia vows to continue support for Venezuela, including with aid

Moscow (AFP) –


Russia will maintain its support for Venezuela's government, including with aid supplies, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

"Russia will continue to assist the Venezuelan authorities in resolving social and economic problems, including through the provision of legitimate humanitarian aid," Lavrov said at a joint press conference with Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez.

At the start of talks with Rodriguez in Moscow, Lavrov expressed Russia's "support and solidarity" for Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro in the country's political standoff.

"We are very closely cooperating and coordinating all our steps on the international arena," Lavrov said.

"This has acquired special significance now that Venezuela is facing a frontal attack and unabashed interference in its domestic affairs."

Battered by an economic meltdown, Venezuela descended into political crisis when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president in January and asserted that Maduro was no longer legitimate.

Maduro and his allies -- including Russia -- have accused Washington of attempting to carry out a coup against his government.

The United States has recognised Guaido and led a diplomatic campaign in support of his leadership.