Moscow presumes Washington is preparing a military intervention in Venezuela, Nikolai Patrushev (pictured) the secretary of Russia’s Security Council said, quoted by Russian news agencies.
Russia had agreed to a proposal from Washington to hold consultations on Venezuela crisis, but the United States had repeatedly postponed them on “invented pretexts”. The United States show “sarcasm and arrogance towards the Venezuelan people” while it imposes humanitarian aid that will be rejected. Patrushev stressed that the United States, deploying military forces to Puerto Rico and Colombia are preparing an invasion to Venezuela to overthrow legally elected incumbent President Maduro.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said it was an “unpleasant surprise” in absence of any request from Vienna for explanations over the affair of a retired Austrian army colonel who had allegedly spied for Moscow.
“This was an unpleasant surprise to me. It has been a custom from time immemorial for any country that feels some concerns or suspicions over actions by another country to ask for explanations directly in accordance with the rules of international communication. Lately, our Western counterparts have made it a rule not to use traditional methods but rather megaphone diplomacy.They accuse us in public and then demand public explanations over an issue we know nothing about,” Lavrov underlined, according to TASS News Agency.
“It is essential to follow the rules that have been shaped in the process of international communication. We have invited Austria’s ambassador to the Foreign Ministry. We will draw his attention to what methods should be used, if they have any questions for Russia,” Lavrov added.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said at press conference that the 70-year-old army official, now retired, is suspected to have begun working with Russian intelligence in the 1990s and carried on until 2018, for three decades.
The public prosecutor’s office in Salzburg province confirmed the colonel is under investigation for the crime of revealing state secrets.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested he could meet Donald Trump in Paris in early November at an event commemorating the end of the First World War. It was mentioned in talks with US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Moscow.
The possible date is scheduled for November 11.
The visit of John Bolton to Moscow concluded with press-conference.
The US refusal to take part in the conference on Afghanistan scheduled to be held in Moscow on September 4 reflects the hypocrisy of Washington’s peace rhetoric with respect to Kabul, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary.
“We were sorry to learn from a statement by the US Department of State that the Americans refuse to take part in a Moscow format meeting on September 4. Aside from them, representatives of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and five Central Asian countries have been invited to take part in it,” the ministry said. “The American side’s decision once again highlights the hypocrisy of Washington’s peace rhetoric towards Afghanistan.”
This decision came as no surprise to Moscow, as there were no US representatives at the previous Moscow format meeting. “This time they came up with a far-fetched pretext that the US has no intention of taking part in those events, which are not organized under the supervision of the Afghans. Its obvious inconsistency is that the Moscow meeting is scheduled to be co-chaired by Russia and Afghanistan, and Washington is perfectly aware of that,” the ministry noted. “Apparently, the fact is that the Americans are in favor of taking part only in the meetings, which are held under their supervision and serve exclusively the US interests.”
Washington has violated international law regarding Russian diplomatic missions in the US, the Russian Foreign Ministry (MFA) said in a protest note filed to DC.
The ministry expressed “protest at the continued violation of international law by the US with regard to” Russian diplomatic missions and consulates in the US, according to a statement on its website.
The complaint concerns Russian diplomatic properties in Washington DC, San Francisco, and Seattle, as well as in the states of Maryland and New York.Moscow said that the “negative consequences” undermine not only US-Russian relations, but also “the principles of the sovereignty of states and international cooperation.”
Moscow said that it has a right to take “additional countermeasures” against US diplomatic property on Russian soil if the US “continues violations” against its facilities.
In a separate statement, also released on August 17 the Foreign Ministry urged the UN Secretary-General to look into the matter.The relevant letter to Antonio Guterres was sent on May 18, the ministry said.
The diplomatic argument between Moscow and Washington dates back to December 2016, when on New Year’s Eve, the outgoing Obama administration expelled Russian diplomats and closed two Russian diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland.
Image: Moscow sunset
Russian Foreign Ministry had summoned Greece’s ambassador to Moscow and informed him it was responding in kind to what it called an unfriendly decision by Athens to expel two Russian diplomats.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said it had summoned Greek Ambassador Andreas Friganas and handed him a diplomatic note informing him of “tit-for-tat measures taken by the Russian side.”
Previously Greece officials said they had expelled two Russian diplomats in July and barred two other people from entering the country for trying to bribe officials and foment demonstrations to thwart a deal to allow Macedonia to join NATO.