Venezuela – the Russia connection

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - Report 10 Mar 2019 by Alex Teddy and Alexei Panin

After the dismantling of the Soviet Union, Moscow largely neglected Latin America. Two events were key to changing the situation, namely, the international response to Russia’s occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008; and to the Russian annexation of Crimea and support for Donbass rebels since 2014. Nicaragua and Venezuela recognized Abkhazia’s and South Ossetia’s independence in 2008 and 2009 respectively. For Russia, it became a matter of showing that she was not internationally isolated and of diverting her public’s attention from internal problems. Less than one year after Chavez recognized the Republics’ independence, PM Putin visited Caracas and received the Bolivar sword. What seemed to be the beginning of a strong renewed economic and political cooperation disappointed many, as the situation did not significantly change for the next few years.

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