Russia Ready for Talks with U.S. over ‘Flagrant,’ ‘Destructive’ Interference in Venezuela

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on December 5, 2018. (Photo by MAXIM SHEMETOV / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read MAXIM SHEMETOV/AFP/Getty Images)
MAXIM SHEMETOV/AFP/Getty Images
EDWIN MORA

Russia is ready to engage in bilateral talks with the United States over what it describes as America’s “flagrant interference” and “destructive influence” in chaos-ridden Venezuela, the Kremlin’s foreign minister reportedly told his U.S. counterpart in a telephone conversation over the weekend.

The Kremlin’s foreign ministry reportedly provided an account on its website of the March 2 phone call between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“In connection with Washington’s proposal to hold bilateral consultations on the Venezuelan topic, it was stated that Russia is ready to participate in this,” the ministry proclaimed in the statement, according to the Reuters news wire agency.

It was “vital to be strictly guided by the principles of the UN Charter since only the Venezuelan people have the right to determine their future,” the statement added.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration and other dozens of other countries have recognized opposition Venezuelan leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president over socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro.

Meanwhile, Russia has maintained its support of what it considers to be the “legitimate government” of Maduro whose regime has plunged the country into a humanitarian catastrophe and chaotic security conditions between troops loyal to the dictator and members of the opposition.

Russian-backed Maduro has blocked the entry of much-needed food supplies and other humanitarian aid provided by the United States through Venezuelan neighbors and U.S. allies Brazil and Colombia.

During his conversation with Pompeo, Lavrov rebuked “the American threats against the legitimate government” in Venezuela, accusing the Trump administration of “flagrant interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state and the shameless violation of international law,” according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news wire agency.

“The provocation and external destructive influence, under the hypocritical pretext of humanitarian aid, has nothing to do with the democratic process,” the Russian FM argued.

Trump administration officials reportedly initiated the phone call over Venezuela.

Under President Trump, the United States has intensified pressure against the drug trafficking and Hezbollah terrorist-linked dictator Maduro and his allies, imposing numerous sanctions on officials tied to the regime.

In talks with Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez in Moscow on Friday, Lavrov reportedly vowed that Russia would maintain its support of the Maduro regime, providing aid supplies to Venezuela.

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