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Putin Discusses Energy 'Cooperation' With Venezuelan President

Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro, the Kremlin said November 13.

The two leaders discussed bilateral relations, including "cooperation" in the energy sector, the Kremlin said.

They agreed to meet on November 23 at a summit of gas-exporting countries in Teheran, Maduro said on state television.

Russia, currently the world's top oil producer, has been consulting more closely in recent months with members of the OPEC oil exporter cartel, particularly Venezuela, which is among the strongest advocates in OPEC for trying to prop up world oil prices by working with non-OPEC countries like Russia.

In past years, Russia had an arms-length relationship with the cartel, but the collapse in oil prices in the last year has caused a massive drain on Russia's economy and government revenues, which are linked in large part to state taxes and tariffs on oil and gas exports.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax