US policy towards Venezuela violates international norms: Ryabkov

TEHRAN, Jul. 21 (MNA) – The US policy of economic terror towards Venezuela cannot be justified from the point of view of the international law, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said during his visit to Venezuela on Saturday.

"US attempts to topple the legitimate government of Venezuela have become a clear illustration of international law violations," Tass News Agency quoted the Russian diplomat telling the ministerial meeting at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Coordination Bureau in Caracas.

"Economic terror has been unleashed against the legitimate government of Venezuela. The legitimate government’s property was persistently transferred to the self-proclaimed acting president. The capabilities of the financial, oil and mining sectors have been seriously limited by the introduction of sanctions," Ryabkov noted.

According to the Russian diplomat, the Venezuelan economy suffered losses amounting to over $100 billion as a result of those actions. However, the majority of the international community members chose not to notice them, he added.

Ryabkov reiterated that the Venezuelan government’s legitimacy was "out of question."

Meanwhile, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said in his inaugural speech that outside forces were seeking to topple the legitimate governments of Venezuela, as well as of Syria, Iran, North Korea and Cuba.

"Venezuela - just like Cuba, Iran, Syria, Nicaragua and North Korea - has fallen victim of interventionism, of foreigners who are seeking a transition of power to governments that serve their interests," he said.

Arreaza added that Venezuela has always spoken in favor of the peoples’ right to peace. "Our nations have the right to determine their future without outside pressure," he said.

Venezuela has been going through an acute social-economic crisis in the last several years, accompanied by hyperinflation and currency devaluation. This year the situation has been further complicated by the escalation of the confrontation between the government and the opposition.

The political situation in Venezuela escalated after Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and parliament speaker, whose appointment to that position had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court, declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas on January 23.

The United States, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), the Organization of American States and some European countries recognized him as the interim president. Subsequently, Venezuela's incumbent President Nicolas Maduro blasted these actions as an attempted coup and said he was cutting diplomatic ties with the United States. Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.

MNA/TASS

News Code 147890

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