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Venezuela crisis: Russia offers to join talks

Russia says it is ready to play a role in ongoing talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition leaders in Oslo, Norway.

 A foreign ministry statement issued in Moscow on Monday said, however, that Russia was prepared to participate only if the parties felt it would be useful.

Norwegian officials said on Saturday that representatives of President Nicolas Maduro’s government and Venezuela’s grand opposition alliance would return to Oslo following an initial round of preliminary talks about how to resolve the country’s political crisis.

But while welcoming the fact that the talks were continuing, the Russian foreign ministry statement warned against any external powers trying to foist ultimatums on the Venezuelan leadership.

Moscow has made no secret of its support for President Maduro’s embattled government, providing it with food supplies and medicines, in an attempt to cushion the effects of US-imposed sanctions.

While Washington, some European and Latin-American countries back the Venezuelan opposition, led by parliamentary leader Juan Guaido, Russia, Iran and Cuba support Mr. Maduro.

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