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Migrant flows to US from Venezuela to grow — diplomat

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

MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Migrant flows to the United States from Venezuela will grow dramatically in case of a civil confrontation in that Latin American country, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

"In case of an all-round civil confrontation in Venezuela, do they [the US administration] really think migrant flow will subside? On the contrary, it will grow dramatically," she said in an interview with the 60 Minutes program on the Rossiya-1 television channel.

She welcomed the change in the European Union’s position on the situation in Venezuela. "We see the change in Brussels’ position. Now it says a contact group on Venezuela is to be set up," Zakharova noted.

Situation in Venezuela

On January 23, the leader of Venezuela’s opposition Juan Guaido, whose appointment as parliamentary speaker had been annulled by the Supreme Court two days before that, declared himself as acting president. On the same day, the United States recognized him as acting head of state. So did the Lima Group countries except for Mexico, the Organization of American States, and a number of other countries. On January 28, Washington imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil company PDVSA and put some of Venezuela’s assets in US banks under Guaido’s control.

Some European countries, including Britain, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and France on January 26 said they would recognize Guaido as interim president, if Maduro refused to call an early election within eight days. Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey came out in Maduro’s support. The UN secretary-general urged a dialogue for resolving the crisis.