Russian-Venezuelan Relation... by on Scribd

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Russia’s foreign policy is part of a complex tapestry intended to bolster its current president, Vladimir Putin. Moscow’s relations with Venezuela are a prime example of this strategy and demonstrate Putin’s global ambitions to recruit geographically distant nations as partners in constructing a new multipolar, anti-U.S. world order.

Nonetheless, Russia's relationship with Venezuela is also a story of missed business opportunities, multimillion dollar risky investments, dubious personal enrichment, and vast corruption. 

The evidence suggests that Venezuela has become a kind of a “suitcase without a handle for Putin: hard to carry but difficult to throw away.” While Venezuela may no longer be as useful as a political symbol of restored Russian greatness, Moscow cannot afford for Venezuela to turn into a symbol of one of Putin’s greatest failures in the international arena.  Russia must balance its important economic investments and assets in Venezuela, such as the ones owned by Rosneft, against its international reputation as an important actor capable of exercising influence in Latin America.

In a new report, Vladimir Rouvinski outlines Russia's changing priorities in Venezuela, from its “return” to Latin America toward the end of the 1990s in search of new markets, to its eventual prioritization of political benefits over commercial profits in the country, to the risks it would face were a power transition to take place in the increasingly unstable South American nation.