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Putin hails Venezuela's Maduro on election win — Kremlin

Monday, May 21, 2018

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MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday congratulated his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro on his re-election, after a vote the opposition rejected as a farce. "The Russian president wished Maduro good health and success in resolving the social and economic issues facing the country," the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin also hoped there would be a "national dialogue in the interests of the entire Venezuelan people," the statement said.

Maduro won 68 per cent of the vote in Sunday's election, far ahead of his nearest rival. The main opposition boycotted the vote and charged it was rigged.

Even before it took place, the United States, Canada, the European Union and a dozen Latin American countries said they would not recognise the results.

Venezuela late last year signed a debt restructuring deal with its major creditor Russia, after it was hit hard by tumbling oil prices and American sanctions.

Russia and China are the two main creditors and allies of Venezuela, which owes them an estimated US$8 billion and US$28 billion respectively.

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