MOSCOW — Russia is ready for consultations on the Venezuela crisis with the United States in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
According to a statement by the ministry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the situation around Venezuela with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a telephone conversation.
“In connection with Washington’s proposal to hold bilateral consultations on Venezuelan issues, it is indicated that we are ready for this, but it is necessary to strictly follow the principles of the UN Charter, since only Venezuelans have the right to determine their future,” the statement said.
On Thursday, the UN Security Council failed to adopt two competing draft resolutions on Venezuela, sponsored by the US and Russia respectively.
Lavrov, during his conversation with Pompeo, condemned “the American threats against the legitimate government” in Venezuela, accusing Washington of “flagrant interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state and the shameless violation of international law”.
“The provocation and external destructive influence, under the hypocritical pretext of humanitarian aid has nothing to do with the democratic process,” he said.
The Russian foreign minister added that Moscow was prepared to hold bilateral talks with the US on the Venezuela issue while stressing that “only the Venezuelans have the right to decide their future”.
The two sides also agreed to continue contacts on international issues including Syria, Afghanistan and the Korean Peninsula, the statement said.
On Friday Lavrov held talks with Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez in Moscow, promising that Russia would maintain its support for the government including aid supplies.
Meanwhile, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel warned again on Saturday that the US government continues to seek an opportunity to launch a military strike against Venezuela.
“The US continues its perverse zeal to fabricate false pretexts to justify intervention and aggression against Venezuela,” the president tweeted.
“Let’s raise our voices” against the plan, he said.
The Cuban leader has repeatedly warned of Washington’s efforts to help the opposition in Venezuela oust President Nicolas Maduro from power, by force if needed.