Russia and the United States still do not find common ground on the settlement of the crisis in Venezuela. This was stated by representatives of both countries on Tuesday, March 19, after talks in Rome, which met Elliott Abrams, special envoy of the Trump administration for Venezuela, and Deputy foreign Minister of RF Sergei Ryabkov.
“We did not come to an agreement, but the negotiations were positive in the sense that each of the parties showed a better understanding of the views of the other side,” Abrams told reporters. He also called the new meeting “quite plausible”, but did not name the date.
According to Abrams, the stumbling block was the question of “who is the President of Venezuela”. Moscow, he said, believes the only legitimate head of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro, the US and a large group of countries recognize the interim President of Venezuela Juan Guaido.
In turn, in a conversation with the Russian media Ryabkov stressed the need for dialogue with the United States, but warned Washington against military intervention in Venezuela. According to the diplomat, the US President Donald Trump said that “in relation to Venezuela, there are all possible options” that Russia interprets as a refusal to exclude military force. Elliot Abrams said that the White House has chosen the path of “political, financial and diplomatic pressure” on the ruling regime in Venezuela.
Previously, Abrams met with officials from the government of Italy, one of the four EU countries that did not support Juan Guaido as interim President of Venezuela. Abrams also visited the Vatican. He noted that the Catholic Church enjoyed respect and authority in Venezuela, but said that it was unclear what role the Vatican could play in the political crisis in the South American country. Earlier it was reported that Pope Francis wrote a letter to the head of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro, in which he pointed out that the Vatican is not yet ready to intervene for the sake of mediation.