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Russia: US seeks to destabilize Venezuela through sanctions

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russia has said that the US’ anti-Venezuela sanctions are aimed at upsetting the country’s internal balance and creating economic problems.

"We are firmly opposed to unilateral sanctions against sovereign states," said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Monday.

“The latest measures of financial pressure on Venezuela and President Nicolas Maduro were introduced by Washington at a time when that country showed signs of relative internal political stabilization after the elections to the National Constituent Assembly, street protests eased somewhat and a schedule of forthcoming elections, including gubernatorial and presidential ones, was finalized," she added.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that prohibits dealings with Venezuela, a measure taken to halt financing what the White House called President Nicolas Maduro's "dictatorship."

Maduro says the US is seeking to stifle oil exports through sanctions and a "naval blockade" on the Latin American country. He also says the US and its allies in the region are fomenting instability to bring down his government.

Members of the Venezuelan Army take part in military drills in Caracas on August 26, 2017. Venezuela kicks off two days of military drills in response to US President Donald Trump's threat of military action and newly announced sanctions on the crisis-stricken nation. (Photo by AFP)

Political tensions in Venezuela rose recently after Caracas announced plans to establish a Constituent Assembly to take over the opposition-controlled parliament and rewrite the constitution. The opposition saw the move as an overt attempt by Maduro to accumulate power.

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Protests erupted on the streets, and clashes led to the death of at least 120 people from the two sides.

"In a situation like this the declared sectoral sections against Venezuela’s financial and oil sectors were quite obviously aimed at undercutting the situation in that country and worsening its economic problems," added Zakharova.

She added that the sanctions will not have any affect on Russia’s will to cooperate with Venezuela.

"We will carefully analyze the consequences of the sanctions imposed by the US and their potential impact on the interests of Russia and Russian businesses…However, we can say now that they will not be able to influence our willingness to develop and boost our cooperation with a welcoming Venezuela and its people," she added.

Zakharova added the Russia is ready to present political assistance to solve the current situation in Venezuela.

"This task’s solution requires, in no small measure, political assistance from outside…We are ready to contribute to the settlement in Venezuela to an extent, to which this is conditioned by the internal political developments in this state," she added.

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