Russia, US talk on Venezuela

Moscow: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed in a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Moscow is ready for talks with Washington on Venezuela, but only in strict compliance with the principles of the United Nations Charter, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The conversation, held at the US request, focused on the Venezuela crisis, the ministry said. “In connection with Washington’s proposal to hold bilateral consultations on Venezuela, it was pointed out that we were ready for them but only in strict accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter, since only the people of Venezuela have the right to determine their future,” the foreign ministry said.

In his conversation with Pompeo, Lavrov condemned US threats against Venezuela’s legitimate leadership, which represent “undisguised interference in domestic affairs of a sovereign state and a gross violation of international law.”

“Instigation and destructive influence from outside, under the hypocritical pretext of humanitarian aid deliveries, have nothing in common with the democratic process,” the foreign ministry stressed.

Apart from Venezuela, the Russian and US top diplomats agreed to continue contacts between experts on Syria, Afghanistan and the Korean Peninsula.