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Venezuela crisis: US, Russia submit resolutions to UNSC

IANS

UNITED NATIONS

The UN Security Council is set to consider conflicting resolutions on the situation in Venezuela from the United States and Russia, diplomatic sources said here.

The US recognizes Juan Guaido, the leader of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly, as the oil-rich nation’s acting president, while Russia supports incumbent head of state Nicolas Maduro, Efe news reported on Wednesday.

Both texts have been circulated among the 15 members and the council is likely to take up the competing resolutions in a single session on Thursday, the sources said. The US draft, seen by EFE, calls for the start of a peaceful political process in Venezuela that leads to “free, fair and credible presidential elections” and urges UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to employ his “good offices” toward that end.

Washington regards the May 2018 ballot that brought Maduro second term to be illegitimate.

The document likewise insists on the need to avoid a worsening of the humanitarian situation in Venezuela and demands that the Maduro government allow the entry of US aid stockpiled in neighboring Brazil and Colombia.

Russia’s draft warns against the use of force against the Maduro administration and emphasizes the principles of national sovereignty and non-interference in countries’ domestic affairs.

The US is in the vanguard of the roughly 50 countries, including the major European powers except Italy, that have recognized Guaido since he proclaimed himself interim president on Jan 23.

Russia, a major ally of Venezuela, has stood by Maduro and denounced what Moscow describes as an attempt to impose regime change on the South American nation.

To pass the Security Council, a resolution must secure nine votes, and the US draft appears capable of meeting that threshold.

But each of the five Permanent Members – the US, Russia, China, France and Britain – has the power to veto a resolution and Moscow is sure to block Washington’s text.

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