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US sanctions against Venezuela aimed at worsening internal situation — Foreign Ministry

August 28, 2017, 16:58 UTC+3

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow is firmly opposed to unilateral sanctions against sovereign states

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© AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan

MOSCOW, August 23. /TASS/. US sectoral sanctions against Venezuela are aimed at worsening the internal imbalance in that country and economic problems, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday.

"We are firmly opposed to unilateral sanctions against sovereign states," Zakharova stated. "The latest measures of financial pressure on Venezuela and President Nicolas Maduro were introduced by Washington at a time when that country showed signs of relative internal political stabilization after the elections to the National Constituent Assembly, street protests eased somewhat and a schedule of forthcoming elections, including gubernatorial and presidential ones, was finalized."

"In a situation like this the declared sectoral sections against Venezuela’s financial and oil sectors were quite obviously aimed at undercutting the situation in that country and worsening its economic problems," Zakharova stressed. "They encourage the irreconcilable elements who see no political chances for themselves without ousting the Venezuelan leadership from power."

The sanctions will not affect Moscow’s willingness to cooperate with Caracas, according to Zakharova.

"We will carefully analyze the consequences of the sanctions imposed by the US and their potential impact on the interests of Russia and Russian businesses," she said. "However, we can say now that they will not be able to influence our willingness to develop and boost our cooperation with a welcoming Venezuela and its people."

Moscow ready to assist political settlement in Venezuela

Russia is ready to furnish assistance in reaching a political settlement in Venezuela, according to Zakharova.

A political deal in Venezuela requires establishing a dialogue among all the country’s leading political forces to create conditions for remedying the economic situation, the Russian diplomat explained.

"This task’s solution requires, in no small measure, political assistance from outside," she added.

"We are ready to contribute to the settlement in Venezuela to an extent, to which this is conditioned by the internal political developments in this state," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.


US sanctions

On August 25, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to impose fresh sanctions on Venezuela. The US financial institutions are prohibited to make transactions with the bonds issued by the country’s government and the state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). Maduro called the sanctions illegal saying that all Venezuelan politicians who were in favor of imposing these restrictive measures must face trial on charges of betraying their home country.

At the end of July, Venezuela held elections to the Constituent Assembly convened by Maduro’s decision without a preliminary referendum. The opposition boycotted the elections and refused to recognize their results and the results of the assembly’s work. Some countries in the Western Hemisphere likewise refused to recognize Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly, and the US slapped sanctions on Maduro.

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