1682010675 origin 1

Russian FM wants unity against Western ‘blackmail’

origin 1Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gestures during a news conference with his Venezuelan counterpart Yvan Gil, April 18, 2023. ©YURI CORTEZ/AFP or licensors

Russia’s foreign minister urged countries to unite against Western “blackmail” during a tour of Latin America on Tuesday.

“It is necessary to join forces to counter blackmail attempts and illegal unilateral pressures by the West,” said Sergei Lavrov in Venezuela’s capital Caracas.

Speaking alongside his Venezuelan counterpart Yvan Gil, the top Russian diplomat called for a “multipolar world”, not dominated by the United States (US) and its allies.

Venezuela is the second stop on Lavrov’s tour of Latin America. He first visited Brazil and will later travel to Cuba and Nicaragua.

“Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua are choosing their own paths,” he said.

All three countries are led by socialist-leaning governments and have uneasy relations with the United States.

The Russian official also discussed the war in Ukraine.

“We will resolve the situation in Ukraine and other conflicts in the world through the principles of the UN Charter on the sovereign fairness of states, on the principle of the indivisibility of security,” he said.

“Our job is to ensure that the UN Charter is fully implemented and that the right to self-determination is not taken away when it suits the West.”

Venezuela, already a key ally of Russia since the days of President Hugo Chavez (1999-2013), has consistently supported Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin before and after the invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has helped Venezuela bypass sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western powers.