"This decision is outrageous", a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry said. Apparently, a court's independence in the United Kingdom works for only as long as it is aligned with the government's stance. We would study with great interest the legal arguments of the High Court of London; however, there are simply no such arguments, apparently. The UK law is silent when political expediency is at stake".
According to the Russian ministry, the ruling was conducted in violation of "a number of principles and norms of the international law, including non-interference in domestic affairs, respect of sovereignty and immunity of government assets" and has resulted in one country factually repudiating assets of another country in pursuit of facilitating a coup in that latter country.
"This, of course, violated the interests of the Venezuelan people, who are already suffering from sanctions, which are also in violation of the international law", the ministry representative said.
Last January, media reports claimed that the Bank of England was pressured by the United States to deny Caracas the right to withdraw $1.2 billion worth of gold assets. In April of this year, Caracas requested that the bank sell parts of the Venezuelan gold reserves and send funds to the United Nations as a contribution to fight the pandemic. Apparently refused, Venezuela lodged a legal claim in the London High Court on 14 May.
This past Thursday, the High Court in London ruled against Maduro's government in a legal battle for over $1 billion of gold stored in the Bank of England, saying it recognised opposition figure Juan Guaido the president of Venezuela with subsequent right to access the country's gold assets. The Venezuelan Central Bank vowed to protest the ruling.
Venezuela entered a turbulent political crisis after Guaido proclaimed himself interim president last January. Several countries, including the US, have endorsed him as Venezuela's leader and urged Maduro to step down. Maduro, in turn, has accused the US of attempting to orchestrate a coup in the country and bring Guaido to power in pursuit of seizing control over Venezuela's abundant natural resources.