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Russia states about U.S. plans to purchase Ukrainian weapon for Venezuela

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the U.S. plans to involve Ukrainian state enterprise “Antonov”
18:22, 22 February 2019

"ТАСС"

Spokeswoman of Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova stated that the U.S. is going to purchase large consignment of weapon “in one Eastern European state” for Venezuela as Interfax reported.

“There is information that U.S. companies and their allies in NATO work out the issue of the purchase of a large consignment of weapon and ammunition in one of the Eastern European states for next passing to the opposition forces of Venezuela”, Zakharova said.

She emphasized that the issue is about samples and equivalents of the heavy machine guns, under-barrel and atomized grenade launchers, man-portable air-defence systems, ammunition for small arms and artillery weaponry of different purpose.

Related: Venezuelan government does not allow European Parliament’s delegation to country

“It is planned to supply cargo to Venezuela in the beginning of March by a few consignments through the territory of the neighboring country with the involvement of transport aircraft of the International forwarding company,” she said, emphasizing that the Ukrainian trace can be seen in this story.

“Particularly, we understand that the state enterprise “Antonov” will be involved,” Zakharova said.

She emphasized that the U.S. administration “deliberately escalates situation” in Venezuela. According to her, the U.S. gathers special forces and hardware at the border of Venezuela, pretending that it is the supplies of the humanitarian aid.

Related: Italy declines EU bid to recognize Guaido as president of Venezuela

In May 2018, presidential elections were held in Venezuela. According to the Central Election Commission, 68% of voters voted for the current President Nicolas Maduro. Three times less people voted for his closest rival, the leader of the Progressive Vanguard party.

The opposition stated that numerous violations were reported during the voting, but on January 10, Maduro took the oath of the president office. Most of the countries of the West and Latin America did not recognize elections. Later, the National Assembly of Venezuela recognized Nicolas Maduro as a usurper.

At the same time, in addition to the political swings, there are plenty of other serious problems in Venezuela: in 2016, the country was covered by an energy crisis, in 2017 there was a default, in 2018 the inflation rate reached 82,76% on an annualized basis. Oil production has collapsed one and a half times, prices are growing at a frantic pace, and the national currency, the Bolivar continues to depreciate rapidly, there is a shortage of food. According to various estimates, frpm two to four million people have already left Venezuela.

Related: Maduro warns of possibility of civil war in Venezuela

On January 23, opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president. He was supported by many countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

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