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Venezuela did not request military help from Russia, says envoy

MOSCOW, February 11. /TASS/. The Venezuelan government did not request military help from Russia to settle the crisis in the country, Director of the Latin American Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Shchetinin told journalists on Monday.

"No," he said, answering the corresponding question.

One of the journalists reiterated that, for example, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad addressed Russia for military help. Shchetinin stressed in response that this comparison is incorrect, "If you analyze the difference between Syria and Venezuela, you’ll see that it is great."

On January 23, Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas. Several countries, including the United States, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him. Incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US.

Several European countries delivered the ultimatum to hold an early presidential election and after its expiration recognized Guaido as interim president. In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.