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    Russia, Other Countries to Block US-Drafted UN Resolution on Venezuela - Envoy

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (548)
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    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – Russia and other allies of Venezuela will block a US-backed resolution to revoke the diplomatic credentials of the Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations Samuel Moncada, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy said in a press briefing on Thursday.

    “I will tell you definitely that Russia will not support such a move”, Polyanskiy said. “I know that a lot of others are voicing their opposition, there is a group of countries that were mobilized by Venezuela’s friends”.

    On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the United States is preparing to introduce a resolution at the UN to revoke Moncada's credentials and recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido's envoy as Venezuela's representative to the organization. Moscow views the anticipated US resolution as an attempt to initiate a coup at the world organization, Polyanskiy said.

    READ MORE: Venezuela Neutralizes Up to 4 Attacks on Power Grid Per Day – Maduro

    “This is something outrageous to take a decision to deprive a legal representative of a country of his credentials”, he said. “With Venezuela, it really resembles an attempted coup d’état here at the UN”.

    Polyanskiy pointed out that Russia has not proposed its own resolution on Venezuela but would support a text that protects the rights of the people of the country.

    Since January, Venezuela has been rocked by political turmoil which erupted when Guaido, supported by the United States, proclaimed himself Venezuela’s interim president. Since then, Washington has frozen the US-based assets of the Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA in a bid to step up pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Constitutionally elected Maduro, supported by China and Russia among other states, in turn, slammed the US "imperialist" moves and accused Guaido of plotting to overthrow him with backing from Washington.

    Assange’s Extradition Raises Questions

    Dmitry Polyanskiy also said in a press briefing on Thursday that the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the Embassy of Ecuador in London raises many questions.

    “The way he is treated right now, and the way we saw he was extradited from the embassy, well, there are a lot of questions about it”, Polyanskiy said. “We hope that really he will not be prosecuted for his views, which seems to be the picture”.

    READ MORE: Assange, Once Hailed by the Press, Now Jailed by the Press

    Polyanskiy added that he personally views Assange as a whistle-blower and a proponent of freedom of speech, and these features should be respected. “He is for freedom of speech, he believes in its absolute value, so much more than any people in this world”, Polyanskiy said. “I heard that there was a demand from the United States for his extradition, which really raises a lot of doubts about what would happen to him”.

    UK police arrested Assange earlier on Thursday inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had been residing since 2012 as a political refugee, fearing extradition. The police confirmed that the arrest had been made "on behalf of the United States authorities". The arrest came after Ecuador withdrew the asylum it had earlier granted to Assange. Assange gained fame after WikiLeaks published a large number of classified documents, including some that exposed abuses of power and war crimes committed by US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

    READ MORE: Ecuador Bowed to US Pressure, Violated Law – Assange's Associate

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (548)

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