Russia has accused Juan Guaidó, Venezuela’s opposition leader, of an “illegal attempt to seize power”, which is backed by the US. Thus Nicolas Maduro believes he can rely on Vladimir Putin as a Venezuelan ally.
However, Russia has less opportunities to protect its interests in this South American country.
Moscow has been a key ally for Venezuela for a long time since the Hugo Chaves presidency.
“The relationship is symbolically important. It’s about saying ‘we’re not alone, there are others who are very critical of the US and Western policy’,” explains Andrei Kortunov of the Russian International Affairs Council.
That’s why Russia has increased arms sales, extending credit and even flying in two bombers last December in a show of support. Though it has been expanding its cooperation with the Venezuela as well.
Now Its backing for Nicolas Maduro in the current political crisis in the country as most of those who upraised are openly supported by the West.
“Unpopular social policies, an impoverished population and economic crisis – against a background of battling the whole world and corrupt… politicians. Guess which country this refers to?” reported Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.
Analysts talk of $17bn (£13bn), mostly dished out in credit to the Maduro government. But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to put a figure on it when questioned by journalists earlier this week.
“I won’t respond to that,” Mr Peskov said responding to the question on whether Russia worries about the losing that investment.
Moreover, Russia’s state-owned firm, Rosneft, now has stakes in multiple projects in Venezuela and has issued significant loans to the country’s oil giant.