February 5, 2019 / 8:28 AM / 18 days ago

Russia backs talks between Venezuela's Maduro and opposition - RIA

FILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Moldovan President Igor Dodon at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that the crisis in Venezuela could only be solved by getting the authorities and the opposition to talk to each other, the RIA news agency reported.

Major European nations on Monday joined the United States in recognising opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president of Moscow ally Venezuela, heightening a global showdown over Nicolas Maduro’s socialist rule.

“We continue to believe that the only way to exit this crisis is by sitting the government and opposition down at the negotiating table,” Lavrov was cited as saying by RIA. “Otherwise it will simply be the same regime change that the West had done many times.”

Reporting by Katya Golubkova; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn

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