15:08 GMT16 July 2020
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    A senior Russian official told Sputnik that the UN idea of creating a commission to investigate alleged violations of human rights in Venezuela was counterproductive, adding that only an internal dialogue could solve the crisis in the country.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The initiative of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein to create a commission to investigate alleged violations of human rights in Venezuela is counterproductive, Director of the Latin American Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Schetinin told Sputnik on Friday.

    The initiative was voiced by Al Hussein on Monday.

    "That's an absolutely personal opinion of the high commissioner. Undoubtedly, it is inspired by significant political and ideological engagement. It is absolutely counterproductive because based on the procedure of gathering information, which is not established by the UN Human Rights Council, is not balanced, mildly speaking, and does not contribute to the reconciliation and settlement of the difficult situation in Venezuela," Schetinin said.

    The senior diplomat described the Russian position toward Venezuela as "explicit and consequent."

    "We are calling for the internal dialogue … We believe that Venezuelans must independently look for the solution of their problems through a dialogue with an absolute respect to the national legislation and, of course, without the destructive interference in their internal affairs. International support is, of course, important but it must promote the goals, which I mentioned," Schetinin added.

    Venezuela has been facing unrest since spring when the country's Supreme Court attempted to restrict the power of the legislature. Despite the subsequent overturning of the decision, the opposition forces initiated mass protests, which claimed over 120 lives.

    The protests were further fueled by the National Constituent Assembly election in late July, initiated by President Nicolas Maduro. Venezuela's opposition, as well as a number of foreign countries, have refused to recognize the body's legitimacy.


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