Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian MFA on the situation in Venezuela

The developments around Venezuela are raising stronger concern.

A number of European capitals are reported to have put forward ultimatum demands to legitimate authorities in Caracas to organise “democratic, free and transparent” elections within an 8-day deadline. These demands are accompanied by a threat that Juan Guaido of the opposition would otherwise be recognised as the new head of state.

The fact that this information was “planted” in a simultaneous and orchestrated way was highly notable – a few hours prior to the discussion of the situation in Venezuela at the UN Security Council meeting convened by the United States. Washington’s “director’s baton” is distinctly visible behind all these steps.

The evolving events do nothing but escalate domestic political tensions in Venezuela, a country we enjoy friendly relations with. The situation is artificially heated up from abroad; the most radical views are stimulated. Cynical open interference in domestic affairs of a sovereign state continues. This has to stop.

From our side we confirm readiness to facilitate finding mutual understanding among responsible political forces of Venezuela in order to ensure peace and calm in the country, promptly address urgent social and economic challenges. We are ready to cooperate with other states sharing this approach.