PUTIN: RUSSIA BACKS VENEZUELA'S LEGITIMATE AUTHORITIES, WELCOMES DIALOGUE BETWEEN OPPOSITIONS AND MADURO




Selin ATAY-TDO-Moscow supports Venezuela's legitimate authorities, including the institution of the president, as well as the dialogue of the country's leader Nicolas Maduro with the opposition forces, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Moscow on Wednesday.

"Russia consistently supports all the legitimate power bodies of Venezuela, including the institution of the president and parliament. And we certainly support the dialogue that you, Mr. President, and the government are holding with the opposition forces. We consider any rejection of the dialogue to be irrational, harmful to the country and bearing only threats to the welfare of the population," Putin stated.

Moscow has been one of Maduro’s biggest backers amid what it has described as U.S. efforts to undermine him, and has provided loans and help for Venezuela’s military and oil industry.

Russia is delivering spare parts to Venezuela and creating service centres in the country as scheduled, in line with existing defence cooperation agreements, Putin noted."All this work is being carried out as scheduled, in strict compliance with our agreements,"

Last week, a group from the Venezuelan opposition had agreed to dialogue with the Maduro government. But a larger opposition group, led by National Assembly President Juan Guaido, who declared himself an' interim head of state', had rejected the dialogue.