Maduro Says Russia Ready to Provide $6bn for Venezuela’s Oil Industry, Mining

On the second day of his visit to Russia, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday that he obtained accords for $6 billion of investments in Venezuelan oil and mining production, as well as offers of wheat shipments, and help maintain and improve Venezuelan weapons, reports.

“At the end of a successful work agenda with our brothers from the Russian Federation, we have a very positive balance for the Venezuelan people. Thank you Russia! Thank you President Vladimir Putin!” Maduro tweeted, along with a video.

In the video, he said that accords include one “to guarantee the investment of more than $5 billion to increase oil production in Venezuela.” In addition, there is a commitment for $1 billion to support Venezuelan mining, mostly for gold operations.

Maduro also received offers to help with the maintenance and repairs of the country’s weapons system and another agreement for up to 600,000 metric tons of wheat “for the bread of the Venezuelan people.”

A joint binational commission was expected to meet in March to follow through, he added.

“In previous years our economic relations have been through very difficult times with a significant decrease in mutual trade, but we have managed to stop this negative trend and can see some growth this year,” Putin told Maduro on Wednesday, according to the Kremlin.

According to an OPEC report, Venezuelan oil production in October declined to 1.17 million barrels per day compared with an average of 1.9 million barrels during all of the previous year, and from 2.2 million barrels per day average in 2016. The country’s production is plunging from the 1990s, when the output was more than 3 million barrels per day.

Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order levying sanctions against Venezuela’s gold exports. National security adviser John Bolton said at the time that the revenue helped finance illicit activities and support criminal groups.