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Russian FM wants union against Western 'blackmail'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gestures during a press conference with his Venezuelan counterpart Yvan Gil, 18, April, 2023.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gestures during a press conference with his Venezuelan counterpart Yvan Gil, 18, April, 2023. Copyright YURI CORTEZ/AFP or licensors
Copyright YURI CORTEZ/AFP or licensors
By Euronews with AFP
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Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it was necessary to "join forces" against the West, while on a Latin America tour.

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Russia's Foreign Minister urged countries to unite against Western "blackmail" on Tuesday, during a tour of Latin America. 

"It is necessary to join forces to counter blackmail attempts and illegal unilateral pressure from the West," said Sergei Lavrov in Venezuela's capital Caracas.

Speaking alongside his Venezuelan counterpart Yvan Gil, Russia's top diplomat invoked a "multipolar world", one not dominated by the United States (US) and its allies. 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro later spoke of a "pleasant meeting" on Twitter, saying they had consolidated a "cooperation plan". 

The country, situated on the northern coast of South America, is the second leg of Lavrov's whistle-stop tour. He first visited Brazil and will go on to Cuba and Nicaragua in the coming days. 

"Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua are choosing their own path," he said. 

All three countries are led by socialist-leaning governments. Criticised for democratic shortcomings, they have had fraught relations with the US over the years. 

Brazil was blasted by Washington for "echoing Russian propaganda", following President Lula's meeting with Lavrov on Tuesday. 

The Brazilian leader later rowed back from comments the US considered were "encouraging the war" in Ukraine, condemning the invasion. 

Lavrov also discussed the Ukraine war. 

"We will resolve the situation in Ukraine and other conflicts in the world through the principles of the United Nations Charter on the sovereign equity of States, on the principle of the indivisibility of security," he said. 

"Our task is to ensure that the UN Charter is applied in full and that the right to self-determination is not taken away when it suits the West." 

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

President Maduro backed Moscow in the 2008 Georgian war. 

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

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