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Russian and Venezuelan defense chiefs meet to discuss ties

MOSCOW — Russia’s defense minister has hosted his Venezuelan counterpart to discuss military ties between the two countries.

During Thursday’s meeting, Sergei Shoigu hailed Venezuela for “resisting attempts by the United States to overthrow the legitimate government,” noting that the Venezuelan military serves as the guarantor of Venezuela’s territorial integrity.

Shoigu suggested that he and Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino discuss bilateral military and military-technical cooperation.

Padrino vowed that his country will stand up to the U.S. pressure and what he described as its “blatant violation of the international law.”

Russia has backed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, while the U.S. and several dozen other nations have cast their support behind opposition leader Juan Guaidó and recognized him as Venezuela’s interim president.

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