Russia said on Tuesday it was ready to facilitate the start of dialogue between Venezuela’s government and opposition but warned the United States against intervening in Caracas’ internal affairs.
Russia has sided with President Nicolas Maduro in his stand-off with opposition leader Juan Guaido. Maduro retains control of state institutions including the military, but most Western countries, including the United States, have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s president.
On Tuesday opposition supporters returned to the streets nationwide to keep the heat on Maduro and demand that he allow humanitarian aid into Venezuela, where food and medicine shortages are rife.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephone call on Tuesday evening that Washington should avoid any interference, including military, in Venezuela’s internal affairs.
Lavrov also said Russia was ready for consultations on the situation in Venezuela in line with the United Nations charter.
At the United Nations, the United States is pushing the Security Council to formally call for free, fair and credible presidential elections in Venezuela with international observers, diplomats said on Saturday, a move that prompted Russia to propose a rival draft resolution.