Lavrov defends Venezuela against Pompeo, tension between Russia and US has global consequence

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MOSCOW – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met on Tuesday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Commenting on relations between Russia and the United States, Sergei Lavrov said that the tension between the two countries exerts a negative influence on the situation in the world.

“Since we are talking about the two major nuclear powers, the tension between Russia and the United States inevitably negatively affects the overall situation of the world, so Mike Pompeo and I agreed that we should try to take practical steps to remedy the situation,” Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister also expressed hope that Mike Pompeo’s visit to Russia would help resolve both bilateral issues and the international agenda.

“I hope that the visit of Mike Pompeo not only helps to improve the atmosphere of Russian-American relations, but also allows us to advance, albeit with small but real steps, in resolving the practical issues that are demanded both in the bilateral relations agenda and in the regional and international issues,” he added.

The Russian foreign minister said that he had a frank and productive dialogue with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the situation in Venezuela, noting that Russia defends the resolution of the crisis through an internal dialogue in the country.

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“As for the international agenda, we speak openly about many issues, including the situation around Venezuela. Russia is in favor of the people of this country defining their future, and in that sense, it is extremely important that all responsible political forces patriots of this country initiate a dialogue, “Lavrov said.

The Russian minister defended the adhesion of the countries of the region to the Mechanism of Montevideo, platform of negotiation for the Venezuelan crisis composed by Bolivia, Uruguay, Mexico and the Caribbean Community.

“The [Venezuelan] government, as Nicolás Maduro said, is ready for this dialogue,” Lavrov added during a press conference.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, said President Nicolas Maduro should step down.

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