The Russian government has warned the Venezuelan opposition from pursuing its violent campaign against the Maduro government, describing the opposition's tactics as “extremely dangerous.”
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Russian Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Artyom Kozhin said Thursday that "the steps taken by the opposition to create parallel government structures at an early date, in particular, to launch the procedure for appointing new Supreme Court judges by the parliament are extremely dangerous."
Kozhin instead has called for dialogue and an end to violent right-wing protests that have left over 96 people dead.
"All constructive opinions should be heeded, but that is impossible amid protests," he said. "Violence to please extremists is a dead-end road."
The Russian diplomat argued that international interference was not a useful way to solve the crisis in Venezuela.
"It is impossible to reach consensus considering destructive outside interference, pressure and the threat of sanctions," he said. "The responsible world community should unite rather than provoke."
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The diplomat also criticized Donald Trump’s support for the opposition plebiscite as “strange.”
"Statements made by the leaders of some countries, including U.S. President (Donald) Trump, which described the voting as the expression of will of the entire Venezuelan people calling on the government to cancel the elections to the Constituent Assembly scheduled for July 30 and threatening to impose sanctions, seem strange," he said.
The statement of support from the Russian government comes amid mounting international pressure against the Venezuelan government.
Luis Almagro, the head of the Organization of American States, U.S. President Donald Trump and various European leaders have attacked Maduro’s plans for the National Constituent Assembly and demanded new elections be called immediately.
President Maduro has maintained that the National Constituent Assembly is the only solution to the crisis in Venezuela, claiming it will ease tensions between pro and anti government supporters by creating a more representative constitution.