Venezuela's Maduro in Moscow seeking financial help

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro touches a gold bar as he speaks during a meeting with the ministers responsible for the economic sector at Miraflores Palace in Caracas Venezuela

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro touches a gold bar as he speaks during a meeting with the ministers responsible for the economic sector at Miraflores Palace in Caracas Venezuela

Last month, the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela's vice president on economic development, Jesus Faria, said Maduro could visit Russian Federation by the end of this year to discuss economic projects.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday criticised sanctions on Venezuela during a visit to Caracas, the capital.

Figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute say that in the first nine months of the year, Turkey bought $900 million in gold mined in Venezuela - revenue that has helped replace the government's crashing oil revenues.

Maduro, who landed in Moscow Tuesday, is set to have talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin the following day.

Erdogan and Maduro signed a series of agreements in the areas of mining, commerce and oil.

The sanctions, which target United States individuals and companies trading in Venezuelan gold, were announced by National Security Advisor John Bolton.

One of the agreements formalizes cooperation between the state-owned oil companies Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) and the Turkish Petroleum International Company, in addition to an agreement to avoid double taxation and tax evasion. In response, Erdogan said he was willing to strengthen trade ties.

"Political problems can not be resolved by punishing an entire nation", said the Turkish head of state.

The Turkish leader also condemned the economic sanctions that Maduro faces since 2017.

The Turkish president said Venezuela's government has been unfairly hit by global sanctions amid its economic crisis, punishing an entire nation.

While Erdogan did not directly mention the United States or Trump, he said his "friend" Maduro was facing "manipulative attacks from certain countries and acts of sabotage from economic assassins".

Russian Federation and Venezuela enjoy a long history of ties and Maduro's predecessor Chavez, known for his passionate tirades against the United States, was a welcome guest at the Kremlin.

Venezuela, overwhelmed by hyperinflation, a severe shortage of commodities and a strong recession, has reportedly exported around $ 700 million worth of gold to Turkey.

Earlier, Erdogan laid a wreath at the tomb of Venezuela's founding father Simon Bolivar, and Maduro also presented him with a replica of the revolutionary leader's sword.

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