January 24, 2019 / 9:20 AM / in a month

Russia warns U.S. against military intervention in Venezuela: Ifax

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov speaks during a news briefing on SSC-8/9M729 cruise missile system at Patriot Expocentre near Moscow, Russia January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Thursday warned the United States not to intervene militarily in Venezuela, saying such a move would trigger a catastrophic scenario, the Interfax news agency cited the deputy foreign minister as saying.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday, winning the backing of Washington and many Latin American nations and prompting socialist Maduro, who has led the oil-rich nation since 2013, to sever diplomatic relations with the United States.

Interfax cited Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, as saying Moscow would stand with Venezuela to protect its sovereignty and the principle of non-interference in its domestic affairs.

Ryabkov was also quoted as saying that Moscow expected the United States and other countries to step up pressure on Caracas.

Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn

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