Putin hails Venezuela’s Maduro on election win: Kremlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday congratulated his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro on his re-election, after a vote the opposition rejected as a farce.
“The Russian president wished Maduro good health and success in resolving the social and economic issues facing the country,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
Putin also hoped there would be a “national dialogue in the interests of the entire Venezuelan people,” the statement said.
Maduro won 68 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election, far ahead of his nearest rival. The main opposition boycotted the vote and charged it was rigged.
Even before it took place, the United States, Canada, the European Union and a dozen Latin American countries said they would not recognise the results.
The Russian foreign ministry said this set a “dangerous precedent” in which “the electoral process does not depend on the position of international observers but on the points of view put forward ahead of time by certain states”.
“It is clear that such an attitude will have grave long-term consequences,” the ministry said in a statement.
It called for “dialogue and reconciliation at a national level”.
Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled Russia’s neighbour with an iron fist since 1994, said “true democracy had won” in Venezuela.
Venezuela late last year signed a debt restructuring deal with its major creditor Russia, after it was hit hard by tumbling oil prices and American sanctions.
Russia and China are the two main creditors and allies of Venezuela, which owes them an estimated $8 billion and $28 billion respectively.