Vladimir Putin offers support to embattled Venezuelan president

By Associated Press Reporter

Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his support to embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in a phone call.

Mr Putin “expressed support to the legitimate government of Venezuela amid the acute political crisis that has been provoked from the outside”, the Kremlin said.

The Russian leader emphasised that “destructive foreign interference tramples on basic norms of the international law”.

The Kremlin statement said Mr Putin called for “overcoming differences in the Venezuelan society through peaceful dialogue”.

It added that the two leaders underlined a shared intention to “continue the Russian-Venezuelan cooperation in various spheres”.

A Russian long range Blackjack bomber (Ministry of Defence/PA)

Russia had already denounced the US decision to recognise opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate president, calling it an attempted coup.

Russia has been a key sponsor and ally of Venezuela, and last month it deployed two Tu-160 nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela for several days.