Caracas, Venezuela – Venezuela’s tourism minister on Thursday said the country will increase state airline flights to its ally Moscow, as many countries around the world, led by the United States and Europe, block Russian planes from their airspace.
President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine last week provoked a battery of sanctions from the United States and its allies, including airspace being closed to Russian-flagged flights.
“Venezuela is ready to continue receiving Russian tourists,” Minister Ali Padron tweeted on Thursday, after a phone call with the head of the Russian Federal Tourism Agency.
They agreed “to guarantee the continuity of regular flights through the Venezuelan airline Conviasa and increase connectivity,” he wrote.
Russian tourism to Venezuela soared in May 2021 when the two countries opened a direct route between Moscow and Caracas.
Moscow has been a key ally of Venezuela since the government of the late president Hugo Chavez.
Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro has expressed support for Putin in the past week, calling actions taken against Moscow “crimes” and “madness”, although he advocated for peace negotiations with Ukraine to continue.