Russia expects to welcome Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro on a visit as part of the expanding Russia-Venezuela ties, including in the energy sector, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday.
“We expect the president of Venezuela to visit Russia per the invitation extended to him,” Novak, Russia’s top oil official, said, as carried by Russian news agency TASS.
Novak did not provide details on a forthcoming visit. Maduro could visit Russia by the end of this year, an anonymous source with knowledge of the plans told Reuters.
Last week, Novak welcomed Venezuelan officials to discuss cooperation in oil and gas projects and to prepare for Maduro’s visit, according to TASS.
Novak also said today that the Venezuela-Russia joint ventures in Venezuela are exceeding by 16% their crude oil production targets this year.
Overall trade between Russia and Venezuela jumped by 70% between January and July 2023 and has surged by 77% over the past five years, according to the Russian deputy prime minister.
Shunned and sanctioned by the West over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia has turned to the few allies it has left on the global stage, including fellow sanctioned oil exporters Venezuela and Iran.
Russian crude and fuel trade after the EU sanctions and embargoes and the G7 price caps have been facilitated by a “dark fleet” of tankers that have previously been involved in shipping oil from Venezuela and Iran.
In addition, estimates by Reuters showed last week that China is likely to have saved $10 billion on crude oil imports so far this year as it has imported record volumes of cheaper oil from Russia, Iran, and Venezuela—all three under U.S. and Western sanctions. Those imports are estimated to have accounted for 25% of overall Chinese crude oil purchases in the first nine months of 2023.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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