MOSCOW, February 22. /TASS/. Russia’s Federation Council is ready to establish direct contacts with the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly elected in 2017 for designing a draft of the country’s new constitution, Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev said on Friday.
"We are ready to take it as a partner. I have asked Venezuela’s Deputy Foreign Minister to tell his colleagues in the Constituent National Assembly that we are ready to establish direct ties. They do not exist so far, though we are ready to establish them," he said following the meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Ivan Gil, adding that so far Russian parliamentarians do not plan to pay a visit to the country.
According to Kosachev, the issues of humanitarian aid and economic development support are being discussed within the intergovernmental commission. "It is being held today in Moscow. From the side of Russia’s parliament we have voiced support to providing that aid in the future as well," he noted.
On January 23, 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 Caracas. A number of countries, including the United States, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him as president. Venezuela's incumbent President Nicolas Maduro blasted these actions as an attempted coup and said he was cutting diplomatic ties with Washington.
Some European countries delivered an ultimatum on a snap presidential election to Maduro and recognized Guaido as interim president once the demand’s deadline had expired. Meanwhile, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.