Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has condemned Washington’s “unprecedented campaign” and “irresponsible plans” aimed at toppling the legitimate government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.
“We see an unprecedented US-led campaign aimed at toppling the lawful authority in Venezuela. We condemn this campaign as a blatant violation of all the international laws secured by the UN Charter,” Lavrov said at the beginning of a Sunday meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Jorge Arreaza in Moscow.
“We call on the Americans and all (the countries) who support them to cancel irresponsible plans and act strictly according to the international legislation, as President (Vladimir) Putin said a couple of days ago in a phone conversation with President (Donald) Trump,” he added.
Lavrov is travelling on Monday to Finland, where he is expected to hold rare face-to-face talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Venezuelan President Maduro has called on the country’s armed forces to be on standby for potential US military action against the Latin American nation following a failed coup attempt earlier this week.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called on the country’s armed forces to be on standby for potential US military action against the Latin American nation following a failed coup attempt earlier in the week.
“Be ready to defend the homeland with weapons in your hands if one day the US empire dares to touch this territory, this sacred earth,” Maduro said during a televised speech from a base in the northwestern Cojedes state on Saturday.
Early on Tuesday, a group of Venezuelan armed troops accompanying opposition leader Juan Guaido clashed with soldiers at an anti-government rally in the capital, Caracas. Gunfire was heard, and more than 100 people were reported wounded in what was later revealed to be a US-backed coup.
Maduro announced in a televised speech that the group of military personnel supporting Guaido had been defeated.
A second day of confrontations came on Wednesday as opposition supporters and security forces clashed during May Day protests in Caracas.
Addressing his supporters, Maduro said the coup attempt was directed from the White House.
The administration of US President Donald Trump, which has recognized Guaido as the “interim president” of Venezuela, quickly backed the attempted putsch.
Following the failure, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo renewed threats against Caracas and said on Wednesday that Washington may use military force to remove Maduro from power.
“The president [Trump] has been crystal clear and incredibly consistent,” Pompeo said. “Military action is possible.”