Russia says stance on Venezuela ‘incompatible’ with US view

Russia says stance on Venezuela ‘incompatible’ with US view

02/05 - 13:05 - Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov criticises American backing for opposition leader Juan Guaidó

The Kremlin’s position on the Venezuela crisis, where US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó launched a stalled effort to overthrow Russian ally Nicolás Maduro, is “incompatible” with the US stance, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

“I don’t see how you can combine two positions where one — ours — is based on the UN charter and the principles and norms of international law, and the other has the US appointing an acting president of a different country from Washington,” Mr Lavrov told reporters.

Mr Lavrov said that Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, had told Russia to stay out of Venezuela in a “surreal” phone call on Wednesday, to which he replied: “We never interfere in the affairs of others and urge everyone else to do the same.”

Earlier this week, Russia dismissed a claim from Mr Pompeo that Moscow had convinced Mr Maduro to stay in office rather than step down. Russia’s foreign ministry said Mr Lavrov and Mr Pompeo could meet next week during a summit in Finland.