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Diplomat expects US to comment on potential troop deployment to Colombia

During US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s press briefing, reporters saw him holding a notepad with a handwritten note that read "5,000 troops to Colombia"

MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. Moscow expects Washington to make an official statement on a potential troop deployment to Colombia, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.

She posted a photo of US National Security Adviser John Bolton at a press briefing, where reporters saw him holding a notepad with a handwritten note that read "5,000 troops to Colombia."

"NBC has reported today, citing three senior Pentagon officials, that the US military command plans to send troops neither to Colombia nor to Venezuela," Zakharova noted. "As always, there have been no official statements, but we still have hope," she added.

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman pointed out that attempts to destabilize the situation in Venezuela were coming from Colombia. "You may ask, what about non-interference in the domestic affairs of others - from elections to cyber security, which is what the collective West has been so concerned about in recent years. This is how it is," she concluded.

Turmoil 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 (except 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.

Spain, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands said on January 26 that they would recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president unless Maduro called elections in eight days.

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.