MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. Russia welcomes the readiness of the parties to the political crisis in Venezuela to hold contacts for the sake of finding a way out of the current situation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Thursday.
"The current situation in Venezuela confirms there is no alternative to peaceful, civilized ways of resolving controversies by the citizens of that country. We hail the readiness of the government and the opposition to hold contacts ahead of a dialogue, including internationally mediated dialogue. We support any initiatives that accommodate the parties’ interests to an equal degree."
Zakharova said that only negotiations by all of Venezuela’s constructively-minded political forces eager to achieve a peaceful diplomatic settlement of disagreements in accordance with the Constitution were able to bring about a lasting solution of the crisis.
"Russia is open to a discussion [of issues] with all parties concerned in a peace settlement of the internal political situation in Venezuela," she added.
Zakharova said that world mass media often distorted Russia’s approaches to foreign policy.
"I would like to address them with a reminder that one of the cornerstones of Russia’s foreign policy is respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Russia consistently cooperates with the legitimate governments that have a mandate of their people’s credibility and enjoy legitimacy and full power," Zakharova said.
She dismissed as absurd the attempts to blame the events in Venezuela on Russia.
"It is sanctions imposed by the US and other countries that have caused noticeable degradation of the socio-economic situation this year," she said.
Contacts between parties
On January 23, Venezuelan opposition figurehead Juan Guaido, whose appointment had been annulled by the Supreme Court two days earlier, proclaimed himself as acting president. The United States hurried to recognize him as an interim head of state. The Lima Group of countries (except for Mexico), the Organization of American States and most EU countries followed suit. Maduro described the events as a government coup attempt and severed diplomatic relations with the United States. Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba and Nicaragua came out in his support.
The Norwegian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Ingrid Kvammen Ekker said her country maintained contacts with the Venezuelan government and the opposition and was calling for a peace settlement of the political crisis. Norway, in contrast to many other European countries, has not recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president.