No request for Trump call to Putin: Kremlin

Moscow: The Kremlin has not yet received any requests for a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin from the Trump administration, Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said when asked to comment on the US president’s statement on the possibility of discussing the situation in Venezuela with his Russian counterpart.

“No, there have been no such requests [for a phone call with Putin from US representatives] yet,” he said.

On Friday, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said that Trump so far had no plans to hold phone calls with the Russian leader. Meanwhile, the US president himself admitted that he could discuss the situation in Venezuela with Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the near future.

The situation in Venezuela was one of the issues discussed at Putin’s meeting with the permanent members of the Russian Security Council on Friday. The participants in the meeting stressed that statements on plans to meddle in Venezuela’s domestic affairs made by some countries hindered efforts aimed at overcoming the crisis in the Latin American country.

Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas on January 23. Several countries, including the United States, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him as president. In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.

Commenting on reports on Russian military servicemen’s presence in Venezuela, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on March 26 that Russian specialists had arrived in Venezuela in strict compliance with that Latin American country’s Constitution. The diplomat stressed that their presence in Venezuela was stipulated by the 2001 agreement on military-technical cooperation reached by the Russian and Venezuelan governments.