Russian deputy foreign minister in Venezuela for Non-Aligned Movement forum

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov is in Venezuela today, where he will meet with high-level officials from the Non-Aligned

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Photo: AP/Ariana Cubillos

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov is in Venezuela today, where he will meet with high-level officials from the Non-Aligned Movement—a forum whereby the 120 member states can discuss international issues.

The officials will discuss strengthening Venezuela’s military. Though Russia denies accusations that it has stationed soldiers in Venezuela, Moscow does have specialists maintaining equipment on the ground. This comes after the US committed to providing $42 million to the Venezuelan opposition to fund salaries, governance training, media and building projects.

Meanwhile, Russia says it believes the Oslo talks between the government and the opposition, which are being managed by Norway, can facilitate a peaceful settlement. Norwegian authorities emphasised that both sides had agreed to establish a permeant commission to end the crisis. While an agreement between the two sides is unlikely to eventuate soon, this process does offer the prospect of a non-military solution.

Expect the US to label Russia’s positivity about the Oslo talks as merely a stall tactic as Russia seeks to expand militarily in Venezuela. Like similar negotiations held in the Dominican Republic, expect the Oslo talks to eventually dissolve as the crisis escalates.

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