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    Threats to Maduro From Guaido, US Have Nothing to Do With Democracy - Lavrov

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    MOSCOW, (Sputnik) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he had a frank exchange on the situation in Venezuela with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the southern Russian resort of Sochi on Tuesday.

    “We had a frank conversation on many issues, including the situation around Venezuela. Russia wants the people of Venezuela to define their own future. In this regard, it is extremely important that all responsible stakeholders in this country start a dialogue between themselves,” the Russian minister told reporters.

    READ MORE: LIVE UPDATES: US Secretary of State Pompeo Visits Russia to Meet President Putin, FM Lavrov

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, however, further said speaking to the journalist at the press conference following the meeting with his US counterpart Mike Pompeo that threats from US or self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido to legitimate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro have nothing to do with democracy.

    Earlier this month, Juan Guaido, who illegally proclaimed himself the president of Venezuela, said that he might agree to military intervention by the United States. He did not rule out that the opposition of Venezuela may resort to the article of the constitution, which provides for external military intervention. On 11 May, media reported that Guaido asked his representative in the United States to meet with the US military officials.

    In March, when asked about the possibility of a military intervention in Venezuela, US President Donald Trump said that "all options are open."

    READ MORE: US Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity in Venezuela

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his turn expressed hope that despite disagreements with Russia, the two countries can continue dialogue on Venezuela.

    "Despite our disagreements, we will keep talking. I hope we can find a way forward that ends the humanitarian and political crisis that is happening. On this we both agree," Pompeo told reporters in Sochi.

    Venezuela has experienced a worsening political crisis since January, when Guaido proclaimed himself to be interim president. The United States and 54 countries recognized Guaido, but Russia, China, Turkey and numerous other countries have said they recognize President Nicolas Maduro as the only legitimate head of state in Venezuela.

    Maduro has called Guaido a US puppet and accused the United States of orchestrating a coup in Venezuela to effect a forced change of government and claim the country’s resources.

    Tags:
    political crisis, Venezuela crisis, Juan Guaido, Mike Pompeo, Nicolas Maduro, Sergei Lavrov, United States, Russia, Venezuela
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