Russian and US diplomats are to meet in Rome to
discuss the crisis in Venezuela on Tuesday, according to the Foreign
Ministry in Moscow.
Russia is to reiterate its position that a US military intervention in the South American country would be inappropriate, deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency on Sunday.
Consultations are planned with US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams, Ryabkov said. Russia wants to see Venezuela resolve domestic unrest through dialogue. Oil-rich Venezuela is in the grips of a crisis pitting embattled leader Nicolas Maduro against self-declared interim president Juan Guaido.
The United States is among those states backing Guaido, while Russia continues to support Maduro. Ryabkov told Interfax that Moscow and Washington's positions are diametrically opposed but said this was no reason not to speak to one another. The official also warned the US not to interfere in Russia's relations with Venezuela.
Millions of people have fled Venezuela due to dire living conditions as a result of hyperinflation. Russia is assisting Venezuela by delivering medication and food, and helping officials there to weather US sanctions. Venezuela also buys weapons and borrows money from Russia.
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