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Russian companies face no threats in Venezuela — ambassador

Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker declared himself interim president on January 23

MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. Nothing threatens Russian enterprises in Venezuela, Venezuela’s Ambassador to Moscow Carlos Rafael Faria Tortosa told TASS on Thursday.

"There are no threats right now to the companies that work with our country. Sanctions are directed against our enterprises, the government, but they do not affect either Russian property or Russian companies. We do not think that problems will arise," he said.

"We are working, we keep in touch with some of them, and they say that the situation is calm," the diplomat continued. "Yesterday we could see on TV how our workers at PDVSA continue their normal activities, they are next to Russian employees," he said.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak told reporters earlier that there are risks for Russian companies in Venezuela, the Russian government monitors the situation and hopes that the country will comply with its obligations to Russian companies. "Such risks of course exist. The politically unpredictable situation that develops in Venezuela imposes an imprint on the relations between the companies," he said.

Kozak added that the government will monitor the situation in the country and hopes that regardless of the political situation, obligations to Russian companies will be fulfilled. Rosneft is one of the key Russian investors in Venezuela.

Political upheaval rocks Venezuela

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 on January 23. 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. Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US.

Meanwhile, Spain, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands said that they would recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president unless Maduro called elections by February 3.

In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey voiced support for Maduro, while China called for resolving all differences peacefully and warned against foreign interference. The United Nations secretary general, in turn, called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.