Russia expects Venezuelan opposition leader will respond to initiatives for dialogue

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MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. Moscow expects that Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido will respond to initiatives to launch dialogue between the country’s political forces, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

“We are concerned about developments around Venezuela. Intervention threats coming from the US, which are actively supported by the Venezuelan opposition that is actually encouraging foreign interference, violate the United Nations Charter as it is overt interference in the domestic affairs of an independent country,” he pointed out. “When you hear what some of the US administration officials say, it seems that diplomacy is out of consideration and all diplomatic decorum has been set aside. The Monroe Doctrine looks like perfect diplomacy compared to statements with direct threats,” Lavrov noted.

According to him, Russia expects that “reason will prevail.” “Some initiatives have been put on the table within the so-called Montevideo mechanism. We do expect that opposition leader Guaido will eventually respond to initiatives that call for inclusive dialogue between all of Venezuela’s political forces,” the Russian foreign minister emphasized.

“Attempts to win a political battle by inciting a foreign intervention – either an overt one or disguised as a humanitarian operation – are unlikely to bring the results he [Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido – TASS] is hoping for,” he emphasized. “It is only possible to reach a result through inclusive political dialogue, compromises and agreements. This is the way to achieve sustainable results, while military actions will only exacerbate the problem,” the Russian top diplomat added.

 

Crisis in Venezuela

 

On January 23, Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas.

Several countries, including the United States, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him. Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US.

In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro, while China called for resolving all differences peacefully and warned against foreign interference. The United Nations secretary general, in turn, called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.

On February 4, most of the European Union member states recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president.

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