NO MORE MR. NICE GUY: Lavrov explains role of Russian military experts in Venezuela

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MOSCOW, Russia – Russian military experts are in Venezuela legally to participate in the maintenance of Russian military equipment previously supplied to that country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister, usually cool and composed, made this statement commenting on the words of US President Trump, who said Russia should leave Venezuela, adding that all options are being evaluated to achieve this goal.

We are explaining what our military is doing in Venezuela: they are ensuring, in a completely legitimate and legal way, the maintenance of military equipment that we provide under the intergovernmental agreement ratified by the Venezuelan Parliament and in full compliance with the Venezuelan Constitution,” said Lavrov to the Rossiya-1 channel.

Russian President Yuri Ushakov’s aide said the collaboration between Russia and Venezuela is “in the framework of normal relations with the legitimate government” of Venezuela.

The arrival of Russian military planes An-124 and Il-62 in Venezuela on March 23 was criticized by the United States.

Vice President Mike Pence called it an undesirable provocation while US President Donald Trump said Russia must leave Venezuela, adding that all options are being evaluated.

Plans by Washington and opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who illegally declared himself interim president of Venezuela, to change the government in the Bolivarian Republic are failing.

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Such statement was made by the director of the Institute of Latin America of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Dmitry Razumovsky, during a round table on the National News Service.

“I’m sure that when this” operation, “we’ll call it that, was planned in Venezuela, it was an attempt to create a new regime change scheme. That failed because, with all the data we have, the Americans had a plan [which foresaw] that Maduro’s government would fall rapidly,” he emphasized.

“However, this confrontation continues for the second month, and this is a very unstable state of equilibrium. For the main goals that Guaidó set for himself are primarily the pull of the army to his side and mass social support. But for now they are failing,” he said.

At the same time, the expert added that the Venezuelan army continues to support the current president, Nicolás Maduro.

The crisis in Venezuela increased in January, when Juan Guaidó was elected president of the National Assembly controlled by the opposition. It has received support from the United States and 54 other countries.

Russia, China, Cuba and several other countries reaffirmed their support for Nicolás Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela and asked for no interference in the internal affairs of the country. Maduro, in turn, accuses Guaidó of conspiring with the United States to overthrow the country’s legitimate government, including organizing the delivery of humanitarian aid as part of a plan to justify US military intervention.

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