MOSCOW – May 2, 2019 – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that more “aggressive measures” in Venezuela would be fraught with the most serious consequences, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
Lavrov also condemned what he called “interference” of the United States in Venezuela’s internal affairs as a violation of international law, adding that dialogue among all political forces is necessary in the Latin American country.
The move comes after the White House announces it plans to step up pressure on Russia in an effort to stop the country from supporting Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro.
In an interview with Fox News, Pompeo hinted that Moscow could face further sanctions if it maintains its support for Maduro’s government.
The United States announced in April a comprehensive set of new sanctions against Cuba for its support of Maduro.
Pompeo reiterated the position of US President Donald Trump that Russia should leave Venezuela.
Venezuela faces a political crisis that began in January when US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó was proclaimed the country’s interim president in an attempt to challenge Maduro’s re-election.
Maduro, backed by China and Russia, among others, accused Guaidó of conspiring to overthrow him with the help of Washington.
Guaidó and his supporters made another attempt to overthrow Maduro on Tuesday, meeting in Caracas on a road in front of the military base of La Carlota. Guaidó asked the people of Venezuela and the army to take to the streets to complete the operation to overthrow the legitimate president of Venezuela.
In response, Maduro said that commanders from all regions and zones of integral defense had reiterated their complete loyalty to the people, to the constitution and to the homeland. According to Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López, the country’s Armed Forces continue to firmly support the “Constitution and legitimate authorities”.