MOSCOW – According to the director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergei Naryshkin, Russia sees signs of preparation for a US military operation against Venezuela, but only time will tell whether such a plan will be realized or not.
“Such signals do exist, but time will tell whether this plan will be realized,” said Naryshkin, stressing that the situation in the country is very tense.
According to the director of the SVR, the actions of the West in Venezuela are cynical and are causing a humanitarian catastrophe in the vicinity of the United States itself.
“The White House repeatedly states that there is a threat of uncontrolled immigration, plans to spend billions to strengthen the border with Mexico, but at the same time it triggers a new civil conflict, provoking a humanitarian catastrophe,” explained Naryshkin.
At the same time, Russia has two interests which do not mutually contradict, but which can push Venezuela into an over-spending position. Russia wants to keep Venezuela’s sovereign resources protected, because Venezuela’s people have opted for a government that sets its own oil rates and trades with countries on its own terms. Russia benefits from this policy, as otherwise the U.S would control and ‘middle-man’ global access to Venezuela’s resources.
Yet, Russia also has an arms industry, and it has a potential ‘conflict of interest’ which can skew analysis regarding Venezuela’s security, and introduce the subjectivity of Russia’s military industrial complex.
The political tension in Venezuela has increased since January 23 when opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president of the country.
Maduro accused Washington of organizing a coup attempt and announced the severance of diplomatic relations with the United States.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said all options for what he described as “restoring democracy” in Venezuela remain at the table, including military intervention.
The United States and several countries in Europe and Latin America, including Brazil, have recognized Guaidó as interim president of the country.
Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Turkey, Mexico, Iran and many other countries expressed their support for Maduro as legitimate president and demanded that other countries respect the principle of non-interference in Venezuelan internal affairs.
The Venezuelan government hopes that Washington will allow the opposition led by Juan Guaidó to engage in negotiations with the government of President Nicolás Maduro, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza told reporters.
“We are waiting for the White House to give the Venezuelan opposition permission to sit down and talk to us,” Arreaza told a news conference on Thursday.
Arreaza added that this issue is among the topics he discussed yesterday with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.