RIO DE JANEIRO, November 22. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to Bolivia Vladimir Sprinchan said on Friday he took part in Bolivian interim president Jeanine Anez’s meeting with foreign diplomats.
"It was a scheduled meeting with the president. It was her first meeting with the entire diplomatic corps, that is why I pronounced only two phrases: ‘I am the ambassador of the Russian Federation. Nice to meet you'," Sprinchan told TASS.
He said he did not say anything in his greeting words about support for Bolivia’s interim government.
"We wish Bolivia to go through these hard times as soon as possible, to restore normal life, revive its economy, develop our [joint] projects," the Russian diplomat said, adding that the implementation of Russia’s agreements with Bolivia "is in the interests of the people of both countries."
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said last week that Russia would regard Bolivia’s interim president Jeanine Anez as the country’s leader, but would bear in mind that there had been no quorum in parliament on the issue. "Clearly, she will be regarded as Bolivia’s leader until the issue of a new president has been settled in an election," he said.
The presidential election in Bolivia was held on October 20. According to the Supreme Electoral Court, incumbent President Evo Morales won in the first round. His main competitor, Carlos Mesa, said that he does not recognize Morales' victory in the first round. After the results of the election were announced, large-scale protests and strikes started across the country.
On November 10, Morales announced his resignation and characterized the situation in the country as a coup. He was earlier asked to leave his post by the country's armed forces, opposition and labor unions. Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera and several ministers and parliament members resigned as well.
The Mexican authorities granted political asylum to Morales. Morales arrived in Mexico on November 12. Later on that day, Bolivian Senator Jeanine Anez declared herself as interim president.