17:37 GMT +325 June 2019
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    Venezuelans ride atop and alongside semi-trailers accompanying U.S. humanitarian aid destined for Venezuela, in Cucuta, Colombia, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019

    Negative External Impact on Venezuela Has Nothing to Do With Democracy - Lavrov

    © AP Photo / Fernando Vergara
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    In a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned Washington's threats against the legitimate government of Venezuela, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, specifying that the conversation took place at Washington's initiative.

    "Talks focused on the situation in Venezuela. Lavrov condemned US threats against its [Venezuelan] legitimate government as explicit meddling into domestic affairs of a sovereign state and a gross violation of international law," the statement read.

    Lavrov said that US destructive interference under the "hypocritical" pretext of delivering humanitarian aid had nothing to do with the democratic process.

    READ MORE: Venezuela: Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid

    The head of the Russian foreign ministry noted that Moscow was ready for consultations on Venezuelan crisis and stressed the need to respect the provisions of the UN Charter.

    "As Washington suggested to hold bilateral consultations on Venezuela, it was noted that we are ready for this, while it is necessary to respect the principles enshrined in the UN Charter scrupulously since only Venezuelans have the right to determine their future," the statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry read.

    The day before, the US Department of State said it had revoked the visas of 49 individuals aligned with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

    Tensions in Venezuela escalated in late January when Juan Guaido declared himself interim president. The United States immediately recognized Guaido, and a number of its allies followed suit. Maduro has accused Guaido of conspiring with the United States to overthrow the country's legitimate government.

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    meddling, phone call, Mike Pompeo, Sergei Lavrov, Venezuela, United States, Russia
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