MOSCOW (REUTERS) – Russia stands ready to facilitate the start of dialogue between Venezuela’s government and opposition, TASS news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Tuesday as saying.

Russia has sided with President Nicolas Maduro in his stand-off with opposition leader Juan Guaido. Maduro retains control of state institutions including the military, but most Western countries, including the United States, have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s president.

“We have been maintaining very important contacts with the government of this country and stand ready to provide a kind service in order to facilitate the process of finding ways out of the situation,” Tass quoted Ryabkov as saying.

Ryabkov also said Russia had made some proposals “to Venezuela” on settling the crisis in the country, without elaborating.

“I can assure you that various proposals are being made and have already been made to our Venezuelan friends,” he said.

On Tuesday opposition supporters returned to the streets nationwide to keep the heat on Maduro and demand that he allow humanitarian aid into Venezuela, where food and medicine shortages are rife.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Gareth Jones)

2019 Thomson Reuters.

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