Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

05/05/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/05/2019 13:11

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's opening remarks at talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Jorge Arreaza, Moscow, May 5, 2019

Mr Minister,

Friends,

We are happy to have this latest meeting. Our regular contacts confirm the strength of the brotherly bonds existing between our peoples and our leaders' commitment to enhance our strategic partnership.

You know Russia's principled, consistent and firm support of the Venezuelan government, which is headed by Nicolas Maduro. We are currently witnessing an unprecedented campaign led by the USA to overthrow the legitimate authorities in Venezuela. We condemn it as it grossly violates all the principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter. Apparently, it concerns not only Venezuela but also Washington's pattern for the political reshuffling of Latin America in line with the notorious Monroe doctrine, which reflects a complete lack of respect for the peoples of Latin America and Caribbean countries.

We never interfere with internal affairs of other countries and urge others to follow suit. Only Venezuelans have the right to determine the future of their state, which requires an inclusive dialogue of all political forces of the country.

Attempts to force a regime change in Caracas have nothing to do with a democratic process and they only undermine prospects for a political settlement of the crisis. Pursuing this line is fraught with drastic consequences. We call on both Americans and everyone who supports them to give up irresponsible schemes and act exclusively within the framework of international law, as President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin suggested during his telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump on May 3.

We expect to hear your assessments of the developments, information about further steps your government plans to take in order to overcome the crisis and establish national dialogue. We are ready to discuss our cooperation at the UN, other multilateral platforms, and the bilateral agenda.

Once again, welcome!