Venezuelan vice-president in Moscow to discuss stronger ties

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's foreign minister has held talks with visiting Venezuelan vice president on ways to expand economic, military and other ties between the two nations.

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During Wednesday's meeting with Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia will back Venezuela and others in their efforts to "oppose any illegitimate unilateral methods of blackmail and pressure."

Rodriguez vowed that Venezuela will continue "fighting for freedom."

The Russian Foreign Ministry later said the talks confirmed "readiness to continue joint work on projects in the spheres of economy, science, technologies, culture and military-technical cooperation."

Russia has staunchly backed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, while the U.S. and several dozen other nations have cast their support behind opposition leader Juan Guaidó and recognized him as Venezuela's interim president.