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Russia hopes Norway-backed Venezuela talks will continue, says foreign ministry

According to the Russian diplomat, the masterminds of the coup d’etat in Venezuela could not predict the level of support the current government enjoys among the population
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova Gavriil Grigorov/TASS
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
© Gavriil Grigorov/TASS

MOSCOW, September 12. /TASS/. Russia hopes that Norway-backed talks between Venezuela’s government and opposition will continue, Russian Foreign Minister Maria Zakharova stated during Thursday’s briefing.

According to her, Washington’s plans on ousting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro have failed, which led to the US attempting to put an end to Norway-backed talks.

"It is not a coincidence that all the possible influence was exerted to end the inter-Venezuelan negotiating process in the so-called Norwegian format, hopefully, temporarily," the diplomat said.

Zakharova noted that the US is attempting to demonstrate that it is considering use of force against Venezuela, having been creating the conditions for such a scenario over the past several weeks. "New concerning factors have made themselves known: there are blatant attempts to destabilize the situation from outside. First and foremost, these attempts are made by the United States of America," the spokeswoman stressed.

She added that those who planned a coup d’etat in Venezuela could not predict the level of support that the current government has among the country’s population, overestimating the opposition’s influence and underestimating the loyalty of the Venezuelan military that refused to stand for the protesters. However, the US also plans to seed doubt in one of Venezuela’s neighboring countries, Colombia, provoking a conflict.

Norway-backed talks

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.

In May, at least two rounds of indirect talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition took place in Oslo, brokered by Norway. The new stage of dialogue began in Barbados on July 8. Maduro stated that the talks were fruitful.

In August, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza informed that the Venezuelan government decided to suspend the talks with the opposition, without refusing to hold them in the future though. They motivated their decision by "dangerous and blatant aggression" from the side of the US government, implying another wave of sanctions introduced by Washington.