US envoy to discuss Venezuela with Russian officials

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 17, 2019 04:40 hrs

Washington, March 17 (IANS) The US envoy for Venezuela will meet Russian officials on Venezuelan crisis, said the US State Department has said.

Elliott Abrams, the US Special Representative for Venezuela, will meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and other Russian officials in Rome, on March 18-19, said the State Department in a statement on Saturday, Xinhua reported.

The two sides will discuss "the deteriorating situation in Venezuela," according to the statement.

Following its recognition of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation's "interim president" in late January, the Donald Trump administration has kept piling up pressure on incumbent Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro through sanctions and other measures.

In response to Washington's support for Guaido, Maduro announced that he was severing "diplomatic and political" ties with the US.

Moscow has condemned Washington's threats against the legitimate Venezuelan leadership, calling them "blatant interference" in Venezuela's internal affairs and a "flagrant violation" of international law.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier this month that Russia is ready for consultations on the Venezuela crisis with the US in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter.

--IANS

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