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Peace and tranquillity are threatened by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) efforts to encircle and persecute Russia, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Felix Plasencia told Sputnik Agency in an interview.
We reject NATO's determination to persecute, encircle, encircle and threaten the tranquillity and peace of the entire region," the minister said.
NATO, he stressed, has sought a conflict with Moscow with a dynamic "similar to the Cold War-era."
Far from providing solutions for peace, Plasencia said, NATO has become a "warlike forum".
Given this, the Venezuelan minister stressed that he advocates mechanisms that build spaces for dialogue and diplomacy to resolve conflicts.
"We must insist on what we have said from the beginning: diplomacy must be the way to resolve these situations of disagreement," he said.
RIGHT TO DEFENCE
However, he said that NATO's threats were unacceptable and Russia had the right to defend itself.
"We have already said that we support the Russian government and the Russian people in their right to defend their peace, their tranquillity, the right of the Russian people and the Russian government to offer guarantees of security to their population and even a certain commitment to guarantee peace and tranquillity in the region," he said.
The Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, territories that revolted against the Ukrainian government in 2014 and were officially recognized as sovereign countries by Russia on Tuesday, requested military assistance from Moscow to stop Ukrainian shelling that both entities say has intensified since the middle of this month.
President Putin announced on Thursday that in response to this request for assistance, Russia launched a special military operation on Ukrainian territory. According to the president, one of the main goals of the operation is the "demilitarisation and denazification" of Ukraine.
Numerous countries strongly condemned Russia's military operation in Ukraine.
The United States, Canada, Japan, and the European Union countries decided to impose new sanctions on Russia over the situation in Ukraine, targeting government representatives, including Putin himself, and its banking, energy, aviation, and space sectors.
The sanctions, Plasencia said, are absurd and ineffective, and he said he was confident that Russia would overcome them with the support of its allies.
"We are convinced that Russia will come out of this absurd and irresponsible imposition well, that it will not harm it and that, furthermore, Russia will be able to build a path of progress, of peace, of happiness, always with the support of its allies, of its friends, of the countries with which it has a strong, historic relationship," he said.
The Venezuelan foreign minister said that the Minsk Agreements were the way to guarantee peace in the region and accused Ukraine of having broken them.
"The Ukrainian government has disrespected and has not applied the provisions of the Minsk Agreements, which guaranteed tranquillity, which guaranteed stability, which guaranteed a path to understanding between neighboring states, Russia and Ukraine," the minister said.
The Minsk Agreements, signed in September 2014 and February 2015, laid the foundations for a political solution to the conflict but have not led to an end to the violence that caused, according to UN estimates made before the Russian operation began more than 14,000 deaths.
President Putin declared that the recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics renders the Minsk Agreements null and void.