Lavrov to have phone dialog with US secretary of state

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that he will hold a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo today, which may include the discussion of the situation in Venezuela.

Moscow did not discuss the Venezuelan issue with Washington save in the UN Security Council, in which the US “tried to push the resolution that covers up their aggressive interventionist plans,” the minister said. “On February 11, the Department of State asked to organize a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo today. It [the conversation] will take place, probably; Michael Pompeo also wants to tell me something about Venezuela,” Lavrov said at Tuesday’s news conference.

“As for political aspects of the situation in Venezuela, we supported all along Mexico and Uruguay’s initiative on the speedy creation of conditions for a nationwide dialogue involving all political forces in the country. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro expressed readiness to participate in this dialogue, while the opposition rejected this proposal,” the Russian foreign minister pointed out. “Because American representatives are leading the opposition and they lost all sense of shame in their statements on ways to solve this situation.”

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. Incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US.

Several European countries delivered the ultimatum to hold an early presidential election and after its expiration recognized Guaido as interim president. In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.

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