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  • (L-R) Ministers of China, Russia, Brazil, India and South Africa during a BRICS meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil July 26, 2019.

    (L-R) Ministers of China, Russia, Brazil, India and South Africa during a BRICS meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil July 26, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 July 2019
Opinion

Despite their different opinions, the BRICS ministers agreed that the political impasse in Venezuela must be solved peacefully.

At the BRICS Foreign Affairs ministerial meeting held in Rio de Janeiro on Friday, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated his country's support for negotiations with the government of President Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition initiated in Olso to find a peaceful solution to their differences.

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"We have reaffirmed our support for the process in Oslo, a process started with the support of Norway, between the opposition and the Government of [Nicolas] Maduro and that will now continue with negotiations in Barbados," the Russian Foreign Minister said. "The Oslo process is underway with the participation of the main protagonists and we will support any agreement they achieve."

Foreign ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the BRIC countries, expressed different views on the situation in Venezuela.

While the Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro recognizes Juan Guaido as self-proclaimed president of Venezuela, Russia and China maintain their support for Maduro, the country's constitutional president.

Following the guidelines stemming from the U.S. governement, Brazil and other Latin American countries gathered in the Lima Group are in favor of using economic sanctions to force Maduro to call elections.

Lavrov said he heard the Brazilian position as well, saying "we have listened to everyone and will continue to listen to all interested in this problem." However, the Russian official said his country, China and India hold a similar position.

As a result, in the joint communiqué disclosed at the end of the Rio de Janeiro meeting, the BRICS called for "a peaceful solution to all conflicts, with the negotiation of all parties."

"That process is now taking place in Oslo and Venezuelans must be given the opportunity to continue with that process to allow it to be more productive," Lavrov said and added that  "we understand that there are other positions but the process in Oslo continues and we support it." 

Brazil’s Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo said the BRICS countries agreed that the solution to the impasse in Venezuela has to be driven by Venezuelans themselves, constitutionally and peacefully, and without external interventions.

"The position that the solution has to be built by Venezuelans is also ours," he said when asked about the pronouncement that Lavrov opposed any foreign intervention in Venezuela.

"We defend non-interference and respect for the constitution of Venezuela," added Araujo, who believes that constitution allows Juan Guaido to proclaim himself as president.

At the Rio de Janeiro meeting, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his counterparts from the BRICS countries stressed the need to uphold multilateralism.

In a tacit allusion to the behavior that the U.S. President Donald Trump tries to impose on the international community, the Chinese representative pointed out that it is extremely important to uphold multilateralism when unilateralism, protectionism and bullying tactics are on the rise, undermining international rules, challenging global trade and exacerbating stability and uncertainty around the world.

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