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Maduro announces $6 bn in Russian investments in Venezuela

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Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro announced $6 billion in Russian oil and gold mining investments in his crisis-wracked South American country Thursday, after talks in Moscow with Kremlin officials.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (5R) meets with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro (4L) at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on December 5, 2018 play

Russian President Vladimir Putin (5R) meets with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro (4L) at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on December 5, 2018

(POOL/AFP)

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro announced $6 billion in Russian oil and gold mining investments in his crisis-wracked South American country Thursday, after talks in Moscow with Kremlin officials.

The Venezuelan strongman is in Moscow to whip up support from allies to prop up an economy in freefall. On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced support for the socialist leader after the pair held talks.

"It's been a very long, intense couple of days of work," Maduro said after meeting investors. "We have guarantees of an oil investment of over $5 billion," as well as "gold mining contracts worth over one billion dollars," Maduro told Venezuela's state television VTV.

He said Russia's investment in one of the world's largest oil reserves would focus on joint ventures with Venezuelan companies, with the aim of increasing production by "almost one million barrels" per day.

According to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Venezuelan production plummeted from 3.2 to around 1.1 barrels per day over the last decade.

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