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Russian lawmaker slams US policy toward Venezuela

On January 23, Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido declared himself the country's acting president

MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS/. US recognition of Venezuelan parliament speaker Juan Guaido as interim president represents "flargant interference into the internal affairs of another country and imposition of US hegemony," chairman of the Russian State Duma's International Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky said on Thursday.

"The US continues its policy of external pressure and interference into the affairs of sovereign states. Now it is Caracas's turn... It does not look like protecting democracy at all. This instead represents another forceful imposition of US hegemony and scrapping of unwanted regimes," Slutsky said.

"Only Venezuelan people should decide who will be the country's president, and they should decide it only via elections," he added. "As we know, on January 10 President Nicolas Maduro was inaugurated and became the legitimate head of state. However, the US continue to bet on the opposition leader with manic persistence as they believe he will replace Mduro and lead Venezuela on a pro-US course. Thus, the US hopes to break down one of the few remaining Latin American strongholds of resisting the concept of unipolar world," Slutsky noted.

On Wednesday Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the country's acting president. Several countries recognized him as interim president, including Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Canada, Columbia Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru, the United States, Chile and Ecuador.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called it a coup organized by Washington and announced severing diplomatic relations with the United States.