Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. (Maxim Shemetov/Pool Photo via AP)

Putin voices support for Venezuelan leader visiting Russia

December 05, 2018 - 7:02 am

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced his support for Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro who is visiting Moscow amid a spiraling economic crisis in his country.

Maduro has become increasingly isolated in the world under growing sanctions led by the U.S. and the European Union which accuse him of undermining democratic institutions to hold onto power, while overseeing an economic and political crisis worse than the Great Depression.

Putin told Maduro before the start of their talks at the Kremlin on Wednesday that Moscow is aware that the "situation in Venezuela remains dire." Putin said he supports Maduro's efforts to "achieve understanding in society" and talks with the opposition. He also made a point to condemn violence or use of force to break the stalemate.

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