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Russian MP warns Venezuela’s current chaos can impede defense cooperation with Moscow

On January 23, Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido declared himself the country's acting president

MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS/. The chaos gripping Venezuela is bound to harm defense cooperation with Russia as the country’s financial capacity will decline, State Duma (lower house) Defense Committee Chairman Vladimir Shamanov told reporters on Thursday.

"Instability in this country, which has long been our ally, will definitely curb their capabilities," he said in response to a question. According to Shamanov, the situation will have a destabilizing effect "on all aspects of economic life primarily." "Accordingly, their financial capacity will shrink," the Russian lawmaker predicted.

"Any instability - and we saw it happen in the last century - is always fraught with long-term consequences," he went on to say. "Thank God, there are some sensible leaders - in Mexico, Bolivia and Cuba - who expressed support for the elected president [Nicolas Maduro]," he added. "However, the Americans have once again shown their true colors and they seek to achieve their goals by all means, stooping to anything," Shamanov concluded.

On January 23, sweeping anti-government protests took place in Venezuela. In some of the country’s regions, opposition-led activities ended in clashes between protesters and security forces, which led to casualties. According to the Pitazo news outlet, at least 16 protesters were killed.

Venezuelan parliament speaker and opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas on Wednesday. Several countries, including the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Paraguay, have recognized him. Maduro, in turn, condemned the move as a coup staged by Washington and went on to sever diplomatic relations with the US.