The contingent of Russian soldiers in Venezuela may be enlarged, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza announced on Monday after a visit to Moscow where he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Arreaza said that, in addition to military support, Caracas is counting on Russia’s support to overcome the US financial sanctions that have cut off the Nicolas Maduro regime from a significant portion of its oil dollars.
“We hope that with Russia’s support we will be able to establish new, alternative methods for exchanging the money that is currently controlled by the United States,” Interfax cites Arreaza as saying.
With respect to the Russian military specialists in Venezuela, he said that they are part of a contingent that could “definitely be expanded”.
Lavrov, in turn, said that Russia is taking a “principled, consistent and firm” stance in Venezuela, which consists in “firm support for the legitimate government of Venezuela headed by President Maduro”. The regular contact between Moscow and Caracas reaffirms “the countries’ strong fraternal ties” and commitment to “strategic partnership”.
“We are seeing an unprecedented campaign, led by the USA, to overthrow Venezuela’s legitimate government. We condemn this campaign as the grossest violation of all the principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter,” Lavrov remarked.
The Russian politician said that Venezuela is not the only country affected, and that the US is attempting to “reformat Latin America in the spirit of the infamous Monroe Doctrine”.
“We never interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, and we urge all others to act in the same way,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met on Monday to discuss the situation in Venezuela, where inflation is in excess of 1,000,000 % and the army continues to support Maduro, preventing a coup.
In an interview with ABC News before the meeting, Pompeo demanded that Russia “get out” of Venezulea, and reaffirmed that the White House is still considering all possible courses of action, including military intervention.