Russia's Putin pledges to send food to Venezuela

2017-05-19 22:56
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Alexei Nikolsky, AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Alexei Nikolsky, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Caracas - Russia is pledging to send several thousand tons of wheat to Venezuela on a monthly basis, potentially helping alleviate the troubled South American country's food crisis and further tightening relations between the long-time allies.

In a telephone conversation on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Venezuelan counterpart that Russia is willing to begin delivering food and strengthen commercial ties, according to Venezuela's Foreign Ministry.

Putin's office confirmed the conversation but did not provide any information about the trade agreement.

The gesture of support for the Maduro administration comes at a key moment. Regional governments have been distancing themselves from the embattled socialist president and calling on him to respect democratic norms as thousands of Venezuelans taking to the streets demanding elections and decrying Maduro.

Opposition members blame Maduro for the country's rising crime, food shortages and triple-digit inflation. At least 46 people have been killed and hundreds injured in clashes surrounding the protests.

Russian ties 

A spokesperson for Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Friday the nation continues to believe dialogue is the best way to resolve the upheaval, while also urging both the government and opposition to act "in line with the law".

Under late President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela began boosting its ties to Russia, purchasing military equipment and negotiating oil sector investments. Maduro has sought to maintain those relations, most recently sending Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez to Moscow in April for an international security conference even as violent confrontations with protesters and outbreaks of looting were continuing to unfold.

Flour is one of the hardest goods to come by in shortage-hit Venezuela. It is rarely available in regular grocery stores. Instead, people find it on the black market or wait in line for hours to buy two packages each at state-run stores.

US lawmakers have expressed concerns about Russia's role in the affairs of its South American neighbour, especially as Venezuela's economic situation continues to deteriorate.

Venezuela's state oil company recently put up a nearly 50% stake in Citgo as collateral for a $1.5bn loan from the Russian company Rosneft - raising worries that a default by Citgo would allow Putin to get a foothold in the American oil industry.


Read more on:    vladimir putin  |  russia  |  venezuela

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

How to get rid of fleas

Before you call in the pricey exterminators, try this DIY approach that promises to get your flea problem under control.

 
 

Paws

12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.