13:09 GMT +320 February 2019
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    Protesters clash with riot police during a rally to demand a referendum to remove Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas

    Russia Warns US Against Military Interference in Venezuela's Affairs

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia warns the United States against military interference in Venezuela's affairs, it would be a disaster, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday, noting that Moscow stands for the principle of non-interference in internal affairs.

    "We warn against this. We believe that this would be a catastrophic scenario that would shake the foundations of the development model we see in the Latin American region", Ryabkov said in an interview with the International Affairs magazine.

    READ MORE: Will Trump's Coup Attempt in Venezuela Succeed?

    The Deputy Foreign Minister stressed that Moscow would support Caracas on the matter, also regretting that the Organisation of American States "was to a large extent involved in this" and "added fuel to the fire".

    "As we see how the situation in Venezuela develops, we note the willingness of a certain group of countries, including the United States, to use different platforms such as the Organization of American States, to increase pressure on our ally Venezuela under different pretexts… But we have always supported and will support friendly Venezuela that is our strategic partner", he stated.

    The official also underlined that Washington uses pressure, blackmail, and bribery in order to force other countries stop their cooperation with Russia.

    Commenting on the situation, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on the Venezuelan opposition "not to be pawns in someone else's dirty game".

    At the same time, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed Moscow’s position on the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro, ruling out the need to grant the rightful president any kind of political asylum.

    "Mr Maduro is the legitimate president of Venezuela, therefore we consider the question inappropriate", Peskov said.

    Nationwide anti-governmental protests have been shaking Venezuela since the beginning of the week, while supporters of the country's leader, Nicolas Maduro, have also held rallies.

    On Tuesday, the opposition-run Venezuelan National Assembly adopted a statement declaring Maduro a usurper. On Wednesday, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the country's interim president at a mass rally in the Venezuelan capital.

    Some foreign countries, including the US and Canada, have recognised Guaido as an interim president of Venezuela.

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    Tags:
    coup, Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, Sergei Ryabkov, United States, Russia, Venezuela
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