Russia says it has contacts with Venezuelan opposition with knowledge of Maduro

Venezuela opposition protesters on Colombia border
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MOSCOW – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday that Moscow had sporadic contacts with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, but the Maduro government is aware.

“We have had many opportunities to receive information and feedback from them and, in turn, to convey our views and approaches,” said Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, explaining information about contacts between Moscow and Guaido representatives.

Ryabkov noted that the Kremlin “does not hide from any contact”.

“On the contrary, we believe that the more contacts, the better for everyone. At the same time, we do this in a way that is understandable, including to Maduro’s legitimate government, and I’m sure Washington is aware of that too,” said the Vice Chancellor.

According to Ryabkov, “These are contacts that aim to exchange information and convey firsthand the positions and approaches being worked out.”

“But it is not a parallel channel, it is out of the question, it is not a kind of permanent dialogue, it is episodic, I would even say sporadic communications, nothing more. And they can be in different ways, not at all in the form of conversations,” complemented the Russian diplomat.

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Political tensions

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said representatives of the Venezuelan opposition leader were trying to contact Moscow, while Russia explained to them the counterproductive nature of foreign military intervention.

Political tensions in Venezuela escalated further on January 21 of this year, when mass protests against President Nicolás Maduro occurred shortly after his reelection. Following this episode, the country’s opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, proclaimed himself interim president in an attempt to depose Maduro.

Several western countries led by the US have announced their recognition of Guaido, while Russia and China, as well as several other countries like Turrkey and Iran, have expressed their support for Maduro as Venezuela’s only legitimate president.

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