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“Fake Questions” From “Fake News”: Lavrov Slams CNN Provocation Over Venezuela

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"Fake Questions" From "Fake News": Lavrov Slams CNN Provocation Over Venezuela

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On May 6th, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov slammed CNN over a provocative question regarding the possible Russian response in the event of the US intervention in Venezuela.

“Question: If Washington decides to start a military intervention in Venezuela, what levers or options does Russia have to stop it?

Sergey Lavrov: Some call your outlet CNN “fake news” and now you are asking me a “fake question.”

We are categorically opposed to armed action in violation of international law no matter where it occurs. The use of force can only be sanctioned by the UN Security Council, or force may be used in response to aggression against a sovereign state. Nothing of the sort is happening in Venezuela. I don’t see any advocates of a reckless military solution based on my contacts with US, European and Latin American colleagues. I hope that this understanding shared by all will be translated into practical policy and that there will be no military solution because it would be disastrous.

Question: Do US diplomats understand this?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes.”

Prior to the meeting, Lavrov also said that he had stopped counting a long time ago with how many US Secretaries of State he had met.

Lavrov praised the meeting with Pompeo as “a very good, constructive conversation.” In which the two diplomats “discussed many regional issues that are on the current UN agenda and the international agenda more broadly.”

It was a good follow-up on the phone conversation US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had regarding Venezuela, Lavrov said.

He was also asked regarding Pompeo’s words that “Russia must get out of Venezuela,” and if the US diplomat repeated his claim in private.

In answer, Lavrov said the two didn’t discuss public statements that were simply made to cause a stir, and that they were influenced by “too many things that have nothing to do with real politics.”

“We tried to concentrate on real politics and we succeeded in this.”

Finally, Lavrov said that the US and Russian presidents agreed to meet when they have an opportunity, and the diplomat was “sure that such an opportunity will present itself and you will hear about it from the Kremlin.”

No information was provided on the meeting from the US Department of State or Mike Pompeo himself.

During the Arctic Summit in Finland, at the sidelines of which Lavrov and Pompeo met, Pompeo said that China and Russia were ahead of the US in terms of Arctic expansion. But, in a surprising turn, he didn’t accuse either, but rather said it shouldn’t be “a place of lawlessness,” but rather great powers should have “the courage & partnership to hold each other accountable.”

Lavrov, following the meeting with Pompeo, said they didn’t discuss the Northern Sea route, but it would be discussed at the Arctic Summit. Lavrov did reiterate that Russia had a right over the route.

“We did not discuss the Northern Sea Route. We will talk about Arctic issues at tomorrow’s meeting of the Arctic Council. The Northern Sea Route is Russia’s national transport artery. As a coastal state and in full conformity with international law, we are responsible for the safe operation of this route in the same way Canadians are in charge of the safe operation of the Northwest Passage. As such, we will do everything to ensure that the movement of foreign ships is in strict conformity with the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea and all international legal norms and is absolutely safe. We are responsible for this.”

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