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    Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly President Diosdado Cabello speaks during a rally in support of the government of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas

    Caracas Rejects US Claims of Russian Involvement in Venezuelan Affairs - Envoy

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Caracas firmly rejects any US allegations of Russia's direct intervention in Venezuelan affairs, Venezuela and Russia are linked by cooperation, Venezuelan Ambassador to Russia Carlos Rafael Faria Tortosa said Tuesday.

    "We can expect any comments from the US government. But you must know that some concrete action, fact has to be behind any comment. But our government sees clearly that there is no direct intervention [of Russia]… Cooperation, larger cooperation, broadening of this cooperation in various spheres. That's what exists between Russia and Venezuela. Therefore we firmly reject US accusations that there is any direct Russia's involvement in Venezuelan affairs", the diplomat told reporters.

    READ MORE: Venezuela to Suspend Foreign Debit, Credit Card Operations — Reports

    The US has blamed several countries, including Russia, for the political crisis in the Latin American country. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in his turn, said that Russia "intervened" and "went against the leadership of the country of Venezuela."

    Russia has refuted the US claims numerous times, saying that its military personnel that arrived in Venezuela last March was involved in talks on defence cooperation with officials. Moscow has pointed out that Russia's presence was fully legitimate and in accordance with the defence agreement between Moscow and Caracas.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in his turn, has stated that the Russian servicemen were helping to carry out maintenance on previously supplied Russian military equipment.

    On Paying Debt to Russia

    Caracas sees no problem with repaying yet another installment of its debt to Russia amid blocking of Venezuelan funds in international banks, the country's Ambassador to Russia Carlos Rafael Faria Tortosa said Tuesday.

    "We don't see problem with it [paying Russia back]… We have a plan on how to respect our obligations toward Russia," the diplomat said at a briefing, when asked about the debt.

    In January, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak confirmed that Moscow and Caracas had reached an agreement on the rescheduling of Venezuela's debt, with the country now paying off its arrears in accordance with a new time frame. Storchak added that Venezuela had to pay its debt to Russia twice a year, specifying that there had been no delays so far.

    At the moment, Venezuela is paying only the interest. The total debt amount equals $3 billion.


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