06:26 GMT30 May 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia calls for lifting sanctions imposed on Venezuela and will continue to assist the Latin American country, including in the fight against coronavirus, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Friday.

    "For its part, Russia will continue to assist Venezuela, including in improving the sanitary and epidemiological situation. This week, the first batch of 10,000 test systems for diagnosing coronavirus infection was delivered to Caracas," Zakharova said at a briefing.

    Zakharova said Russia also calls for lifting sanctions from Venezuela because in a difficult economic situation and during the coronavirus pandemic they become an instrument of genocide. 

    "Now that the Venezuelan economy, stifled by sanctions, needs urgent assistance, blocking the delivery of food and medicine to the country, as well as restricting access to public funds in foreign bank accounts, simply threatens thousands of human lives," she emphasized.

    Zakharova also said that Russia is surprised at US accusations against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro about his alleged involvement in drug trafficking, and views such accusations as absurd.

    The US authorities offered on Thursday a series of rewards for information on five top officials in the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, including $15 million for Maduro himself, based on charges of facilitating drug trafficking into the United States.

    "We were surprised to learn about the indictment announced by the US Attorney General, in which the Venezuelan leadership is accused of direct participation in the international drug trafficking. Following the [US] plans to overthrow the legitimate Venezuelan authorities ... the American justice also promised a large sum for information that supposedly would help arrest President Maduro and other Venezuelan senior officials. Such statements sound absurd and wild, "Zakharova said at a briefing.
    Tags:
    COVID-19, US sanctions on Venezuela, Venezuela, Russia
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