Russia Warns U.S. Against Venezuela Intervention
It did not specify what those consequences might be.
Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, accused the United States of hypocrisy in accusing Russia of meddling in American elections while it blatantly interferes in Venezuela’s internal affairs.
He also said that hints of armed intervention were particularly alarming.
“This is interference in the internal affairs of the state, and as you know, there was a clear attempt to remove Nicolás Maduro from power,” Mr. Lavrov told a news conference in Algiers, where he was visiting. He also suggested that the United States had a hand in plots for “physically eliminating him.”
“That the United States and some other countries have recognized the self-proclaimed president shows that they played a direct role in the crisis in Venezuela,” Mr. Lavrov said, adding that a country with two presidents would lead to “chaos and instability.”
The foreign minister said that Russia was ready to join with other “responsible countries” to start a national dialogue among Venezuelans while avoiding calls to overthrow the legitimate government.
“We appeal to the Venezuelan opposition, which I hope prioritizes its own country’s national interests,” Mr. Lavrov said. “We urge them not to become pawns in someone else’s very dirty and criminal game.”
All manner of Russian officials weighed in, with some accusations more unusual than others. Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the Russian Parliament, suggested that under pressure from Washington, some social media companies had removed the “verified” designation from Mr. Maduro’s accounts confirming his identity.
For years, Moscow has been a crucial ally for Caracas in its tense relations with Washington.
As recently as December, Russia dispatched a small flock of aircraft to Venezuela in a show of solidarity with Mr. Maduro, including two Tu-160 nuclear-capable bombers that flew more than 6,000 miles.