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Moscow concerned over Venezuelan oppositionists attempts to hamper talks with government

November 14, 2016, 16:32 UTC+3

The Russian top diplomat says Moscow gives credit to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

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People protesting against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas

People protesting against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas

© AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos

SOCHI, November 14. /TASS/. Moscow is worried over the fact that some opposition leaders in Venezuela are apparently seeking to break down talks with the government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

"Venezuela is a friendly country, the situation there is fragile but there is cautious optimism about a possible solution of the political crisis via dialogue between the government and the opposition mediated by Vatican and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)," he said.

Russia "gives credit to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and those of the opposition activists who place national interests above all and who don’t want to follow those staking on ultimatums, on staging some color-revolution-type developments."

"We have worries that outside-the-law oppositionists, seeing the futility of their efforts, may try to break down negotiations between the government and the opposition," he said. "We discussed it today with our friends from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. We heard that all of them are interested in success of such talks and that they will take efforts to prevent a breakdown of this process."

Nicaragua's election

According to Lavrov, attempts to challenge the outcome of Nicaragua’s presidential election are pointless, Russia has no doubts the election was clear.

"Numerous observers have witnessed Daniel Ortega’s clear win and the clarity of the whole democratic process of the presidential election. We have no doubts that this election was clear so we consider the attempts to challenge the election’s outcome to be pointless," the Russian minister said.

On Sunday the incumbent president of Nicaragua Daniel Ortega and the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front won the general elections.

Visa-free travel for Russians to Dominican Republic

 Lavrov said at talks with Dominican Republic counterpart Miguel Vargas Maldonado that abolition of visas for Russian tourists will help strengthen tourist and cultural ties between Russia and the Dominican Republic.

"We highly value intensively developing relations in very different spheres of trade, economy and tourism," Lavrov said, marking that the Dominican Republic is one of the most popular destinations for Russian tourists.

"We are grateful to our friends for the decision to introduce visa-free travels for Russian nationals," Lavrov said, adding that "Of course, this will develop tourist and cultural ties".

The Russian diplomat marked "a very good political dialog, regular exchanges of visits at the high level". "We thank you for supporting Russia’s relations with different Latin American integration associations," he added. "Your presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States certainly helps strengthen our relations with this important mechanism," Lavrov said.

He said "a very concrete and major decision on how these relations will be built" was due at the upcoming Russia-CELAC meeting.

The foreign minister of the Dominican Republic, for his part, marked his country’s bid "to strengthen relation with Russia in different spheres".

CELAC ministerial meeting

Lavrov said earlier the ministerial meeting of the CELAC will be a major step towards the development of strategic partnership and will make it possible to detail cooperation in various spheres.

"We have agreed to develop strategic partnership. Today’s meeting, the documents we plan to approve will be a major state in this direction. They will make it possible to detail our cooperation in the trade-and-economic, political and humanitarian spheres, as well as in countering new challenges and threats," the Russian minister said, adding he hopes "for an interesting conversation."

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