Russia and Mexico have similar positions on the normalization of the situation in Venezuela, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday at a press conference following his visit to Mexico.
"We have agreed that any attempts to resuscitate neo-colonial doctrines like the Monroe Doctrine and to repeat scenarios of infamous color revolutions may lead to a dangerous escalation," Lavrov said. "In particular, we have similar positions on the situation in Venezuela and around it. Just like Russia, Mexico calls for resolving all issues that exist in this country and that have accumulated, exclusively through dialogue between the government and the opposition," he added.
"We do not bring proposals to other capitals, and we always respect our partners, with whom we have dialogue," Lavrov said in a response to a question on what proposals Russia will bring to Caracas, TASS reports.
"You have started your question with a phrase on whether Russia can coordinate conditions for Maduro's exit. We have already discussed this, the European Union formed an initiative on this, the so-called Lima Group formed an initiative on this," Lavrov added. "We do not consider such initiatives as useful or productive," he noted.
"If we talk about the importance of national dialogue without preconditions, then this is our position and the position of Mexico. Those who think, as our Western colleagues do, that dialogue is needed for one aim - to discuss the criteria of regime change, then this does not look like mediation but more like forcing the scenarios from outside," he added.
"We hear statements from Washington that there are no options other than removing the incumbent government, incumbent president from power," the Russian foreign minister said. "This is not our approach and not the approach of our Mexican partners. We support dialogue without preconditions, only then the sides can negotiate mutually acceptable solutions on overcoming the existing crisis. If the outcome of the dialogue is predetermined, then this is not mediation but dictat," he concluded.
"Both Russia and Mexico call for resolving all issues of this country [Venezuela] not on the basis of the Monroe Doctrine, as we hear from Washington about their intentions, not on the basis of attempts to provoke a military confrontation to set a pretext for a military intervention, but exclusively by peaceful means, through dialogue between all political forces," Lavrov said.
He reminded that Mexico supported Norway's initiative on promoting the "Oslo process" on establishing dialogue between Venezuela's government and opposition. "Unfortunately, this process stalled because of the whims of self-proclaimed Mr Guaido," the Russian foreign minister noted.
"However, there are positive shifts. I mean national dialogue that was launched between the government of President Maduro and patriotic opposition members. It is clear that it does not include all political forces in the country. Just like Mexico, we call for it to be more inclusive," he stressed.
"No one can solve the problems of Venezuelans for them, but others may very well try to prevent them from negotiating. We see such attempts aimed at setting a pretext for a military intervention," Lavrov said. "Russia and Mexico agree that this will be categorically unacceptable," he added.
"I have heard more threats from Washington — to punish all those who cooperate with Venezuela in one way or another. We have grown used to it already. We have grown used to hearing US officials say, 'Yes, Washington remains committed to the Monroe Doctrine, and the Monroe Doctrine should be fulfilled'," Lavrov said.
"If Latin American countries feel comfortable with this, it is their sovereign right," the Russian foreign minister noted. "I think that this is offensive to all Latin Amercian countries, regardless of their position on Venezuela or any other international issue," Lavrov noted.
The political crisis in Venezuela exacerbated on January 23, when 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. Several countries, including the United States, most of the EU states, Lima Group members (excluding Mexico), Australia, Albania, Georgia and Israel, as well as the Organization of American States, recognized him as the legitimate leader. Incumbent President of the country Nicolas Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US. In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.