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Russian, Venezuelan diplomats to discuss efforts towards political dialogue in Venezuela

Sergey Lavrov and Jorge Arreaza will also discuss "steps to be done to expand the Russian-Venezuelan comprehensive partnership on the global arena"

MOSCOW, May 4. /TASS/. International mediatory efforts to promote dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition will be in focus of talks between the Russian and Venezuelan top diplomats on Sunday, the Russian foreign ministry said on Saturday.

"The sides will exchange views on the situation in and around Venezuela following the attempted coup in that country, as well as on the prospects for political and diplomatic settlement of differences within the Venezuelan constitution and options for international mediatory efforts towards promoting dialogue between the government and the opposition," the ministry said.

The two ministers, Sergey Lavrov of Russia and Jorge Arreaza of Venezuela, will also discuss "steps to be done to expand the Russian-Venezuelan comprehensive partnership on the global arena, to invigorate efforts of the informal groups of nations to protect the goals and principles committed to paper in the United Nations Charter and counteract the illegally imposed unilateral sanctions that have adverse impacts on the socio-economic situation in that country", the ministry said.

Apart from that, they will touch upon the implementation of the practical agreements reached by the Russian-Venezuelan intergovernmental high-level commission at its meeting on April 4-5.

Grass-roots anti-government protests resumed in Venezuela on Tuesday after some of the country’s top brass had sided with opposition leader Juan Guaido. Four persons were killed and hundreds were hurt during riots.

Situation in Venezuela

In the recent years, Venezuela has been living through an acute socio-economic crisis amidst hyperinflation and devaluation of the national currency unit. The situation deteriorated in 2019 following a hike in frictions between the government and its political opponents.

Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and speaker of the National Assembly, 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, Caracas, on January 23. On the same day, the United States recognized him as an interim president, and the countries of the Lima Group (excluding Mexico) and the Organization of American States followed suit. Venezuela's incumbent President Nicolas Maduro blasted the move as an attempted coup and announced cutting diplomatic ties with the United States.

Most European Union member states recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president. Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.

On April 26, the US Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions against Jorge Arreaza, Venezuela’s foreign minister since 2017.