Lavrov to Pompeo: We can talk Venezuela, but US must stop threatening its legitimate govt

Lavrov to Pompeo: We can talk Venezuela, but US must stop threatening its legitimate govt
The US attempts to threaten Venezuela and meddle in the country’s affairs under the guise of supplying humanitarian aid have nothing to do with democracy, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov told his American counterpart, Mike Pompeo.

The top diplomats talked on the phone on Saturday on the initiative of Washington, the Russia Foreign Ministry said.

During the conversation, Lavrov blasted the American threats against the government of Nicolas Maduro, calling them “blatant interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state and a flagrant violation of international law.”

He also grilled the US Secretary of State over Washington’s attempts to influence the situation in Venezuela under the “hypocritical guise” of providing humanitarian aid to the crisis-hit country. Such actions “have nothing to do with democratic process,” Lavrov said.

Earlier this week, Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, has labeled the US aid to the country “a Trojan horse.” He said that nails and barbed wire to build barricades were seized from the supply trucks on the border with Colombia and provided photos to back his words.

As for Washington’s proposal to hold consultations on Venezuela, Lavrov said that Moscow was ready for such talks. However, he reminded Pompeo that “the principles of the UN Charter must be followed strictly as only the people of Venezuela have the right to decide the future of their country.”

The situation in Venezuela escalated after opposition leader, Juan Guaido, declared himself interim president of the country in late January. He was swiftly backed by the US, which never made a secret out of its desire to see socialist president Maduro removed from power.

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However, all the American backing and increased sanction pressure on Caracas have so been insufficient to cement Guaido’s claim to power as the man fled to neighboring Colombia to lead the coup from there, while promising to return.

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