(TELESUR) – Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold a meeting with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo next week in Rovaniemi, Finlandia to discuss, among other topics, their countries differing approaches to the political situation in Venezuela.
“Yes, the meeting has been agreed on,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the news agency TASS when asked to comment on remarks by a U.S. State Department senior official who said Thursday that Lavrov and Pompeo might meet on the sidelines of the Arctic Council’s ministerial session on May 6-7.
Riabkov also mentioned that “it is clear that Venezuela will be the main topic,” though the representatives of both countries will also talk about Syria and Ukraine.
According to the Russian foreign ministry website, Pompeo and Lavrov spoke Wednesday by telephone amidst tensions created by Pompeo himself who was falsly telling U.S. media outlets Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro nearly fled to Cuba but that Russian officials convinced him to stay.
In that conversation Pompeo accused Russia and Cuba of “intervening” in Venezuela. “The intervention by Russia and Cuba is destabilizing for Venezuela and for the U.S.-Russia bilateral relationship,” claimed Pompeo.
The U.S. government under President Donald Trump has been explicitly trying to overthrow the democratically elected government of Maduro since it entered office in 2017, starting with a slew of escalating economic sanctions, two coup attempts, including Tuesday’s, and attacking the country’s electrical system last month causing near nationwide blackouts.
Lavrov retorted saying that “Washington’s interference in the sovereign state’s internal affairs and threats directed against its leadership constitute a blatant violation of the international law.” Lavrov added to his counterpart: “Further aggressive steps may lead to the gravest of consequences.”