Russia, US have 'incompatible' positions on Venezuela: Lavrov

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Russia and the United States have "incompatible" positions on the Venezuelan affairs, but Moscow is ready to talk with Washington, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

"Although U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and I agreed to continue contacts, I do not see how it is possible to combine our positions," Lavrov told reporters in Uzbekistan's capital city of Tashkent.

Lavrov said the Russian approach, on the one hand, is based on the UN Charter and the principles and norms of international law, according to a Russian Foreign Ministry press release.

The United States, on the other hand, appointed the acting president of another country, required legitimate authorities to capitulate, and threatened to use force along with "suffocating" sanctions in order to change the government, Lavrov said.

In response to the U.S. interference in Venezuela's internal affairs, Russia is mobilizing a group of states that respect the UN Charter to counteract the U.S. plans, the top diplomat said.

"Such a group is formed in the UN. I hope that it will receive serious support in the organization," he said.

In a telephone conversation with Pompeo on Wednesday, Lavrov noted the latest situation in Venezuela where the opposition had tried to seize power with "obvious support" from the United States.

The Russian side stressed that Washington's interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state and threat against its leadership is a gross violation of international law.

Pompeo, however, criticized that Russia's role in Venezuela is "destabilizing" for the nation and urged Moscow to cease support for President Nicolas Maduro.

According to media reports, Lavrov and Pompeo are expected to hold talks on Venezuela among other issues in Finland on Monday on the sidelines of the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting.

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