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Putin To Meet With Venezuelan President Seeking Help Amid Economic Crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Moscow on October 3, 2017.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is hosting Venezuela's leader for talks as the Latin America country continues spiraling into economic chaos.

The Kremlin said Putin and Nicolas Maduro will discuss financial help for Caracas when the two meet in Moscow on December 5.

They will also discuss cooperation on oil and gas development, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov told reporters.

Ushakov said Moscow will also express its support for peaceful dialogue in Venezuela, adding that the country’s "internal political problems must be settled through an open dialogue between political forces."

Oil-rich Venezuela has been racked by economic and political crises since 2010 under leftist leader Hugo Chavez and has continued into Maduro's presidency.

Russia came to Venezuela's rescue last year with a debt restructuring deal after the country was driven to the verge of default by falling oil prices and tough sanctions imposed by the United States.

Early on December 4, Maduro announced in a video message posted on Twitter that he was flying to Russia to hold "serious" talks with Putin.

Maduro, whose last visit to Russia was in October 2017, said he expects the meeting to "strengthen and expand diplomatic relations and friendly ties" between his country and Russia.

Millions have fled Venezuela, driven by violence, hyperinflation, and major shortages of food. Last week, the United Nations announced emergency funding for health and nutrition projects.

With reporting by Interfax and TASS

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