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Central Bank chief: Venezuela does not store gold reserves in Russia

The Russian Central Bank chief says that the information that Venezuela keeps its gold reserves in Russia is not true

BOR RECREATIONAL FACILITY / Moscow Region /, January 31. / TASS /. The information that Venezuela keeps its gold reserves in Russia is not true, said the head of Russia's Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina on Thursday on the sidelines of the Russian Banks Association meeting.

"This information is untrue," she said, answering the relevant question. Earlier, on January 29, a publication appeared in a verified twitter account of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Deputy Guerra, who told about information from Central Bank of Venezuela officials about the alleged arrival of a plane from Moscow, which plans to take out 20 tonnes of gold out of the country. Later, Presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov rejected Guerra’s accusations.

Party's Gold

Earlier, Bloomberg reported on the decision of the Bank of England not to return the Venezuelan gold in its depositories at the request of the Maduro government. The agency indicated that the reason for this was the request of some US officials, including US Presidential National Security Aide John Bolton and State Secretary Michael Pompeo, to help "cut off access to foreign assets to the Venezuelan regime." Subsequently, it also became known that the leader of the Venezuelan opposition Juan Guaido turned to the head of the Bank of England Mark Carney and the British Prime Minister Teresa May, with the plea not to return the gold to the current government. In his letter to the British authorities, Guaido said that the Maduro government intends to sell the gold and use the money received to strengthen the "repression against the people of Venezuela."

In early November last year, the British newspaper The Times reported that the Venezuelan government was trying to get gold from the Bank of England, but the bank refused to give it out, asking for clarification on what the leadership of the Latin American country plans to do with the precious metal.

Situation in 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.

Earlier, the EU Parliament has approved the resolution on Venezuela, which recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president and calls on the EU member states to follow suit. Chairperson of the Russian Federation Council's (upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev said that the resolution to recognize Guaido as Venezuelan president could be considered meddling into the affairs of a sovereign state and an act of outside pressure. The EU’s recognition of Guaido "as the country’s legitimate interim president is a clear act of meddling into the internal affairs of a sovereign state and external pressure with the aim to change domestic and foreign policy of the state in favor of outside powers, and not an act of support of democracy and human rights," Kosachev told reporters.

According to the Russian senator, earlier ultimatums presented by European politicians stating that they would recognize the self-proclaimed president Guaido if the current leader Nicolas Maduro fails to call a new election in the country are "a blatant disrespect of a different political reality and imposition of their own viewpoint and of politicians acceptable to them." "To my mind, in this way, the US and Western Europe are discrediting Guaido himself, presenting him as their puppet, and not as an opposition member or a representative of serious political forces within the country," the senator stressed.