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According to kremlin.ru, Vladimir Putin expressed his confidence that under the leadership of Chavez’s successor, Venezuela will continue to strengthen its strategic partnership with Russia, and confirmed his readiness to advance the constructive dialogue on all bilateral and international issues in the interests of both countries.
The statement clarifies Russia’s position on the recent elections in Venezuela, won by Nicolas Maduro with 50.8 per cent of the votes, overpassing his opponent Henrique Capriles by some 300,000 votes.
The opposition is now demanding a recount of the votes and claims the election was fraudulent.
Rival Henrique Capriles refused to recognise the result and demanded a recount, although the National Electoral Council said Maduro’s victory was “irreversible”.
Nicolas Maduro, the former bus driver, who called himself the “Son of Chavez” joined the late president in the early 1990’s.
In his campaign he promised to preserve the legacy of the beloved ‘Comandante’.
He vowed to complete the socialist transformation of the country, to keep the support of the poor.
“These are the people of Chavez. This is Chavez’s place. Chavez continues as an example for us! I am ensuring the legacy of my commander, Chavez, the eternal father,” Madure often said during campaigning.
Russia has vowed to continue military-technical cooperation with Venezuela even after the death of the country’s socialist leader Hugo Chavez.
“We believe the positive, constructive and mutually-beneficial agenda will be a constant for any Venezuelan leadership,” said Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, shortly after the death of Hugo Chavez.
Russia has strong political and trade ties with the Latin American country.
Rosneft, Russia’s state-run oil company, recently announced plans to increase its investments in Venezuela.
In 2005-2007 Venezuela struck several deals with Russia over the purchase of Russian armaments.
The $4 billion arms deal with Russia included Sukhoi fighter jets, combat helicopters, and over 100,000 light weapons, primarily the famous AK-103 assault rifles and a license to produce them in Venezuela.
In 2010 Chavez secured a $2.2 billion loan to buy Russians weapons for the Venezuelan army.