MOSCOW —Russia extended its criticism of the U.S. stance on Venezuela on Tuesday, describing the latest sanctions against the government of President Nicolás Maduro as illegitimate, even as the Russian Finance Ministry acknowledged that its loans to Caracas were at risk because of the crisis.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the new U.S. measures blocking all U.S. revenue from Venezuela’s national oil company were the latest example of Washington using economic sanctions to further U.S. commercial interests. The Kremlin has leveled similar criticism against U.S. sanctions on Iran and Ukraine.
“You know the consistent attitude of Moscow toward such actions, which our American colleagues are taking more and more frequently,” Peskov said. “We believe that in most cases, this is an instance of unfair competition.”
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Maduro is a key ally of Russia in Venezuela, giving Moscow a geopolitical foothold a three-hour flight from Miami. Russia has extended billions of dollars in loans to Venezuela and in December dispatched nuclear-capable bombers to the country in a show of force.
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