Venezuelan President Maduro and Chilean Ambassador to Venezuela Gazmuri meet in Caracas

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro gestures during a meeting with Chile’s Ambassador to Venezuela Jaime Gazmuri, at Miraflores Palace, in Caracas, Venezuela August 16, 2023. REUTERS/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

  • Novak says Maduro to visit Russia
  • Russia sees closer ties with Venezuela
  • JV oil production 16% higher than planned – Novak
  • Russian companies eye investment in Venezuela – Novak

MOSCOW, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Russia expects a visit by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as the two oil producers deepen their cooperation and Russian companies seek to invest more in the South American country, President Vladimir Putin’s oil point man said on Monday.

Venezuela boasts the world’s largest proven oil reserves and Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter. A source familiar with the plans told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the Maduro visit would take place by the end of the year.

There was no immediate comment from Caracas.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak noted the importance of Russian oil cooperation with Venezuela, one of the five founding members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

“We note the importance of continuing joint work to stabilise the global energy market, including in the OPEC+ format,” Novak said at a meeting of a Russia-Venezuela inter-governmental commission in Moscow.

Novak said such efforts were “especially important in the context of attempts by Western countries to use the demand for energy resources as an instrument of political pressure.”

Russia describes Venezuela as a key Russian partner in Latin America and says it is deepening ties with other powers after the West slapped sanctions against Russia and Russian companies over the war in Ukraine.

“Our solidarity approach is a determining factor in ensuring a healthy balance of supply and demand in the oil market, maintaining the investment attractiveness of the industry and countering speculative sentiment,” Novak said.

Russian oil and gas joint ventures in Venezuela exceeded planned production by 16% for the first seven months of this year, Novak said.

Russian companies, he said, had expressed an interest in modernising and building energy facilities, transportation equipment and helping to digitalise the oil and gas sector of Venezuela.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Olesya Astakhova; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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