15:27 GMT25 January 2020
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    Russia urges all political parties in Venezuela to engage in a constructive dialogue, mediated by regional and international officials, in order to defuse the unstable political situation in the country, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Venezuela ruled that it would assume the legislative powers of the country’s National Assembly, which is currently controlled by the opposition majority.

    “Broad and constructive political dialogue should be launched in the country [Venezuela] to prevent any further escalation of confrontation … It would be advisable for the mission of international mediators represented by respected international politicians and the regional community (UNASUR) to resume their operation,” Zakharova said.

    When making decisions, the Venezuelan government should stick to the law as it is explicitly written, the spokeswoman stressed.

    “Measures must be taken to resume the operation of all legal bodies of power, which should adjust their activities, including those that have resulted in the current crisis, to the national legislation,” Zakharova added.

    The Organization of American States (OAS) held a special meeting to discuss the situation in Venezuela on Tuesday. OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro Lemes called for Venezuela's expulsion from the union if general elections monitored by independent international observers are not held in the near future.

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared an economic emergency in Venezuela in January 2016 amid widespread food shortages, hyperinflation and anti-government protests in the oil-rich nation that was once one of the wealthiest in Latin America.

    In October 2016, the parliament voted for initiating impeachment proceedings against the president, which were later dismissed by the Venezuelan government. On January 9, the parliament declared that Maduro abandoned his post as result of dereliction of duty, but the Supreme Court of Justice stated that the National Assembly does not have the constitutional powers to declare abandonment. Maduro classified the parliament’s actions as a coup attempt.

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    Tags:
    crisis, Organization of American States, Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, Russia, Venezuela
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