Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement and Remarks to the press by Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, following UNSC consultations on Venezuela

Today in UNSC we witnessed an attempt to abuse the prepogatives of the Council to legitimize the coup d’état in Venezuela. Venezuela is not on the agenda of UNSC, and it is not a threat to the international peace and security. The risks that exist  are for Venezuela not from Venezuela. We made it clear in our statement.

Secretary Pompeo in his statement said that there are only a few countries – Russia, Cuba, Iraq and Syria – who support Venezuela. That is not the case. You could see it during the meeting that the support to sovereignity, territorial integrity and non-interference according to UN Charter was overwhelming.

The representatives of the EU countries were speaking in the Chamber about this absurd eight-day ultimatum. I wonder, what genius invented that ridiculous formula. Why eight days? What is this deadline? This is not the way to resolve the crisis in Venezuela. We strongly object any external interference. What we need is to facilitate political process in Venezuela to resolve the crisis peacefully and to get country back to normal and peaceful condition.

Q: Are you intended to protect Mr. Maduro in the case of military intervention or military action?

A: I don’t think he needs our protection. He is the constitutional President. He has his army which is on the side of the Constitution and I think he is well protected.

Q: Your Deputy Foreign Minister said that there is a possibility of bloodshed in Venezuela. Besides one of the questions the German Ambassador made to you is that you haven’t answered about Venezuelan Government putting people in jail killing the protesters. What is your response to the Germans on that matter and could you explain the comments made by your Foreign Ministry.

A: Violence is regrettable wherever it happens, but to stop it we need less incitement from the outside.

Q: US said that maybe they can use force in the case of any reaction against Guaido. If the military if Russia are planning to protect Maduro’s regime….

A: These plans are completely unknown to me. If you have more information then share it with me.

Q: Are you preparing to use Military forces of Russia in the case of US use…

A: US announced that there are all options on the table. Which is a hint to something more that what is happening now, this is dangerous in fact. If it evolves in to something more military it will be even more regrettable. We think that it should be avoided at any cost. We do not want to see any military intervention or confrontation and we want to avoid such scenario at any cost.

Q: Has President Putin spoken to President Trump about Venezuela?

A: Not that I know.

Q: Some countries may push at the UN to strip Maduro’s Government off the UN.

A: You cannot exclude anything, but there is only one legitimate government that credentials with the United Nations. To strip them of credentials cannot be done by designating another representative. He should be recognised not only by the Secretary-General to whom he presents credentials but, more importantely, by the General Assembly. We don’t see any reasons for that because President Maduro’s Government is legitimate, represented to the United Nations and that is the case today. 

Q: The dialogue would be the next step? We know that Uruguay and Mexico have suggested to launch talks. Do you think that this process should be the way to go or you are advocating for the United Nations to try to use something another?

A: We are advocating any dialogue that might resolve the crisis. We welcome Mexico and Uruguay if offer serves that purpose. We said ourselves that if we are called for, we are ready to provide facilitation to calm the situation down and to bring about dialogue and understanding between the political forces in Venezuela.