By Agence France-Presse
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro and expressed support, after several other nations recognized self-declared leader Juan Guaido, the Kremlin said.
“The President of Russia expressed support for the legitimate authorities of Venezuela in the context of a domestic political crisis that has been provoked from the outside,” it said.
Putin said that any intervention by other countries “violates the fundamental norms of international law,” according to the statement.
According to the Kremlin, Maduro thanked Russia for its “principled position” on the ongoing crisis.
On Wednesday, the United States and major South American nations recognized opposition head Guaido as interim leader. The UN urged dialogue in Caracas to avoid “disaster”.
The Kremlin has backed Maduro, who has been hit by US and EU sanctions and ostracised as a dictator by Western powers for his suppression of the opposition.
Moscow has warned Washington against any attempts to militarily intervene in Venezuela.
Russia has extensive economic interests in Venezuela and has invested billions of dollars in its energy sector.
Last December Putin hosted Maduro as he traveled to Russia to whip up support from allies to prop up his regime and an economy in free fall.