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US distorts Russia’s position on Venezuela, says senior diplomat

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister categorically rejected the idea of "discussions of this sort between Moscow and Caracas" and accused US of spreading information that has nothing to do with reality

MADRID, July 10. /TASS/. The United States is falsely interpreting the Russian position on the Venezuelan issue or completely distorting it, vilifying Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with Spain’s El Pais newspaper.

For instance, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview with CNN in May that the Russian authorities convinced Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to not flee the country. Ryabkov categorically rejected the idea of "any discussions of this sort between Moscow and Caracas" and accused Washington of spreading "information that has nothing to do with reality. "

"We are witnessing a constant flow [of information] from the US that is falsely interpreting our stance or even provide the international community with misinformation," the diplomat said. "And it is not the issue of wrongful assessment of where Russia is, what it does or wants. This is an attempt to paint an image of the bad boy in the school class for Russia."

"We are concerned by the incessant "melody" from Washington, speaking of all the possible variants [to resolve the crisis in Venezuela] and saying that nothing can be ruled out," Ryabkov underlined. "This creates a deliberate sense of uncertainty regarding what is possible or not possible from the US point of view."

Ryabkov believes that the only way to settle the situation is to hold dialogue. "President Maduro’s government exhibited perfect willingness to negotiate," he pointed out. "Certain [people] in the opposition were less inclined to take part in talks." According to the Dpeuty Foreign Minister, Russia is open to all contacts, which could help to resolve the Venezuelan crisis. "However, it would mean presenting our position wrongly to say that we support the direct dialogue or contacts [with the opposition]," he added.

"Venezuela has become one of our most important partners in the strategic sense and also an ally," Ryabkov underlined, adding that Moscow sincerely appreciates Caracas’ support for Russia on a wide range of issues.

Venezuela crisis

On January 23, Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, 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 of Caracas. Several countries, including the United States, most of the EU states, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him.

Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US. In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.