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US behind stalemate in Venezuela talks, says diplomat

The Russian Foreign Ministry recalled that on Sept 16, Venezuelan United Socialist Party,moderate opposition sealed a deal condemning illegal sanctions and demanding their immediate removal

MOSCOW, September 20. /TASS/. Washington has caused the suspension of talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Friday.

"The reason behind the current stalemate in the talks is evident. That is Washington’s policy. I would like to recall that after a next round of sanctions was slapped [on Venezuela] on August 5, [President Nicolas] Maduro expressed his readiness to continue the negotiations under a condition that radical opposition would denounce the White House’s illegal steps, but it has never happened," Zakharova said.

"Instead, [leader of Venezuelan opposition Juan] Guaido has recently announced that every opportunity for dialogue had been exhausted. Nevertheless, the Americans are pinning the blame for their failure on the legitimate government," she added.

Zakharova pointed out that on September 16, Venezuela’s United Socialist Party and moderate opposition sealed a deal. The diplomat mentioned Item 5, which says that "the sides have passed a corresponding verdict, explicitly condemning illegal sanctions against Venezuela and demanding their immediate removal."

"That statement, which Guaido would not dare to make, shows the true patriotism of those who inked that agreement on behalf of the opposition and their real care about the people of Venezuela and the future of the country," Zakharova stressed.

"Another step towards the Venezuelans could have been Washington’s positive answer to Caracas’ proposal to restore diplomatic relations, which could have helped the US and Venezuela to discuss any disagreements and to find a peaceful solution to them," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman concluded.

On January 23, the leader of Venezuela’s opposition Juan Guaido, whose appointment as parliamentary speaker had been annulled by the Supreme Court two days before that, declared himself as interim president. The United States recognized him as acting head of state. So did the Lima Group countries (excluding Mexico), the Organization of American States, and a number of other countries. Maduro slammed the developments as an attempted coup and severed diplomatic ties with the US. 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.