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Venezuela grateful to Russia for establishing dialogue with opposition — foreign minister

Venezuela is grateful to the Russian government for its aid in establishing dialogue with the republic’s opposition, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Wednesday during a meeting with his Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov.

“We are very grateful to the Russian government and to you personally for establishing dialogue with various groups within the Venezuelan political situation,” he said.

The minister stressed that the dialogue had brought specific results. “We have managed to establish legitimate electoral bodies, and this year, we will run in an election with all parties.” He added that “in the past years full of suffering and hardship for Venezuela,” Russia lent a helping hand to Caracas to help Venezuela overcome sanctions and the unlawful blockade of the republic.

The political crisis in Venezuela exacerbated on January 23, 2019, when 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. Several countries, including the United States, most of the EU states, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him as president. Incumbent President of the country Nicolas Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US. In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.

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