01:04 GMT04 March 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Statements by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about Russia, in particular in the context of the events in Venezuela, are unacceptable, the Russian Foreign Ministry told Sputnik on Monday.

    "Moscow noted that during the ongoing tour of Latin American countries, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a number of unacceptable statements about our country, particularly in the context of events in Venezuela," the Russian ministry said.

    In an interview with Mega TV on 12 April Mr Pompeo said that Russia "intervened" and "went against the leadership of the country of Venezuela". He further claimed that Russia is "there as a hostile power", and that Juan Guaido, who illegally proclaimed himself Venezuela's interim president, is "the duly elected leader". Mr Pompeo also referred to President Nicolas Maduro as "the former leader of Venezuela".

    READ MORE: Pompeo Warns Cuba Against Supporting Maduro, Vows 'Conversation' With Russia

    "The undiplomatic manners of the current US foreign policy chief cast doubt on the fact that he sees Russian-American contacts at the relevant level as an opportunity for constructive dialogue," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

    The United States, which were among the first states that recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the president, has also imposed a number of economic restrictions on the Venezuelan economy to pressure Nicolas Maduro and his supporters. Thus, Washington has frozen the assets of the country's oil producer abroad and efforts to shift billions of dollars' worth of wealth belonging to the Venezuelan state to the opposition 'government' for 'safe-keeping.'

    According to UN Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy, US sanctions have exacerbated the country’s acute economic crisis and can lead to starvation and medical shortages.

    Russia, in turn, supports Nicolas Maduro as Venezuela's only legitimate president.

    Venezuelan Crisis, Juan Guaido, Mike Pompeo, Nicolas Maduro, US, Russia, Venezuela
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