To protect Venezuela’s oil from the “armed robbery being carried out against Venezuela’s wealth,” Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez announced that the European offices of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the state-owned oil and natural gas company,  will be moved from Lisbon to Moscow.

In a joint press conference in Moscow on March 1, together with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, both spoke of the countries’ growing economic and trade relations, including agreements between the oil giant PDVSA of Venezuela and Russia’s Gazprom and Rosneft. Russia will assist Venezuela in the production of medicines inside the country, as well as supply medicines that are purchased.

The continued U.S. attempt to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro was also presented, and Russia warned of U.S. arms being funneled to opposition groups inside Venezuela.

Economic agreements were already signed last December, but U.S. and European sanctions have accelerated closer ties with Russia.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government’s attempt to pass a resolution in the UN Security Council calling for presidential elections in Venezuela was vetoed by Russia and China. South Africa also voted no. A resolution by Russia backing Venezuela as the primary party to initiate or accept any international aid, also failed.

Nevertheless, U.S. military plans continue. Both Lavrov and Rodríguez gave details.

Lavrov warned that the U.S. is arming paramilitary groups, saying, “These plans are very alarming. The U.S. openly talks about this. The information we have shows that in the upcoming future, the United States is planning to buy in one of these European countries, light arms, mortars, anti-aircraft portable weapons and then send it close to Venezuela, with the help of the air cargo company which is absolutely loyal to the regime friendly with Washington.

Vice-president Rodríguez spoke of the same U.S. strategy that was used in Syria. “As far as the operation against Venezuela, a very experienced person is heading up that operation.

“Mr. Abrams has already been involved in this kind of activity. There are certain steps aimed at establishing some illegal military units …  the U.S. supports these extremist groups, illegal terrorist groups and uses them to destabilize peace.

“It will not happen in Venezuela. Our independence is the connection between the army and the people. Our people and our army are together, they will protect the territorial integrity and independence of our country.”

Foreign minister Lavrov affirmed Russia’s support with Venezuela, describing it as “our longstanding partner. We reaffirm our solidarity with the people of the legitimate government of Venezuela in its effort to defend its independence and sovereignty … Russia will continue to help Venezuelan authorities in solving social and economic problems by supplying humanitarian aid.”

In addition to moving PDVSA’s Europe site to Russia, Venezuela will pursue its legal claims to CITGO properties that were seized by the U.S. government.

In early April high-level government commissions from both countries will meet in Moscow to discuss major works, including military and high technology.

Today, Sunday, the Russian Senate’s president Valentina Matviyenko presented Rodríguez with the Senate’s declaration warning the United States that any intervention in Venezuela will be seen as an “act of aggression.”