Venezuelan vice president meets Russia's Lavrov in Turkey amid Ukraine crisis

FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez addresses the media in Caracas

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Antalya, Turkey, on Thursday, according to Russia's ambassador to Caracas and Venezuelan state television.

Venezuela is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Nicolas Maduro has expressed support for his Russian counterpart since Russia launched an invasion of its neighbour Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The meeting took place five days after U.S. officials met Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro amid the crisis surrounding Russia's invasion and suggested Caracas deliver some of its oil exports to the United States as part of an agreement to ease sanctions against the OPEC member country.

"At the moment the Russia-Venezuela meeting is being held in Antalya," Sergey Melik-Bagdasarov, Russia's ambassador to Venezuela, wrote in a Twitter message, alongside an image of Rodriguez and Lavrov walking side by side.

He gave no details of the meeting, which Venezuelan Foreign Minister Felix Plasencia also attended.

Venezuela's Ministry of Communication and Information did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

State television said Rodriguez condemned "the hegemonic powers" - an allusion to Western powers that have imposed severe sanctions on Russia over its invasion - for acting against Moscow.

Maduro has accused NATO and the United States of causing the crisis, arguing they flouted the 2014 Minsk agreement signed between Russia and Ukraine that aimed to end a conflict that began earlier that year between pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and the Kyiv government.

Plasencia will take part in a forum on diplomacy in the Turkish city from Friday through Sunday, according to a message published on the Venezuelan foreign ministry's Twitter account.

(Reporting by Mayela Armas and Vivian Sequera; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Mark Heinrich)